Published on April 25th, 2013 | by Daniel Perlman0
Gang Member held in fatal shooting at picnic in MLK Park
Bailey Boys member is accused of killing 1, wounding 4
The young man walked into Martin Luther King Park with an Uzi-like machine gun and mowed down five picnickers at Shelter No. 4 on a warm May evening last year.
When he fled, he left behind one man who was fatally wounded and four other victims, including a man left a paraplegic and a woman blinded in one eye. He also inflamed the community.
Nearly a year later, local and federal law enforcement officials returned Tuesday to Martin Luther King Park to announce they had found and charged the man they believe was the shooter: Tariq “Reek” Brown, 20, a member of the Bailey Boys gang who thought he was shooting at a gathering that included rival gang members.
It has never been determined if gang members were present at that picnic shelter – there were more than 100 people at the picnic. But police say innocent family members and children were there when Brown began shooting.
To make matters worse, the weapon malfunctioned and kept firing as long as Brown had his finger on the trigger, authorities said.
The charges against Brown under the federal racketeering statute could place him behind bars for life, with the possibility of the death sentence.
In addition to the allegation that he killed Marquay Lee, 26, who died a few day after the May 12 shooting, Brown faces seven other counts of attempted murder, four of them for the wounded picnickers:
Edmond Carter, 28, now confined to a wheelchair; Shaneta Payne, 27, blinded in one eye; Aron Rose, 20; and Jahond Taylor, 23. Both Rose and Taylor were shot in the ankle.
Tariq Brown has been in custody since Aug. 1, 2012, when he and seven other Bailey Boys members were charged in a federal indictment with shooting rival gang members, selling drugs and committing robberies to make money for their criminal enterprise under the federal racketeering law. Since then, the indictment has been revised four times with additional charges, including Tuesday’s latest counts against Brown.
The shooter’s gun was recovered as evidence, police said.
Authorities stated it was important to gather at the park to make the announcement so that residents would see not only that police officers and investigators are out in the community but also that the people who lead the investigations and prosecute the cases are in the community and not off in an “ivory tower.”
There was an even bigger gathering in the park in the days after the shooting. Dozens of people went to the same picnic shelter where the attack occurred and held a “Peace in the Park” event to make a stand against the violence. Tears were shed amid cries for justice as city leaders offered a message that the park belonged to the good citizens of the neighborhood and not the thugs.
“I feel 100 percent better. They got him, and now he’ll do his time” said Frances Turner, who had taken her granddaughter to the park.
Source: buffalonews.com “Gang Member held in fatal shooting at picnic in MLK Park,” April 25, 2013.