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Funeral Services To Be Held Saturday For Murdered Harlem Basketball Star

By Jeff Mays | September 14, 2011 8:39pm
Robert Cartagena, 20, and Tyshawn Brockington, 21, are suspected of shooting Harlem basketball star Tayshana Murphy.
Robert Cartagena, 20, and Tyshawn Brockington, 21, are suspected of shooting Harlem basketball star Tayshana Murphy.
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HARLEM — A viewing for slain Harlem basketball star Tayshana Murphy will be held in Queens on Friday followed by a burial in New Jersey the next day.

The viewing will be held Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at Quinn Funeral Home, 35-20 Broadway in Astoria. The immediate details of the funeral to be held Saturday were unavailable, but Murphy is to be buried at Rosehill Cemetery in Linden, N.J.

Murphy, 18, was killed early Sunday after being chased into her building at the Grant Houses on Broadway near 125th Street. Police say Robert Cartagena, 20, and Tyshawn Brockington, 21, allegedly shot Murphy three times in the chest, hip and arm on the fourth floor of the public housing complex. Both men remain at large.

A young mourner holds a picture of Tayshana Murphy.
A young mourner holds a picture of Tayshana Murphy.
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DNAinfo/Jeff Mays

A third man, Terique Collins, 24, was arrested at his apartment in the Manhattanville Houses on Monday night. Police claim he allegedly passed a gun to Brockington and Cartagena.

Collins was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and ordered held on $250,000 bond or $100,000 cash bail at his arraignment Tuesday evening. Prosecutors charge that Collins got a call to bring a weapon to the shooters before the 4 a.m. murder on Sunday.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Tuesday that surveillance video from the Grant Houses the night of the murder showed Cartagena and Brockington with guns in their waistbands.

Collins was released from prison in February after serving a year and a half of a 3 ½-year sentence for selling crack to an undercover police officer.

The shooting that led to Murphy's death is part of a long-standing feud between neighboring Manhattanville Houses and Grant Houses, said police, Murphy's family and area residents.  Murphy's relatives say her brother, known as "Bam Bam," may have been involved in an earlier altercation and that the shooting was retribution.

Murphy's friends have denied that she was involved in an altercation.

"There is a dispute, but I'm not sure what it's about. They probably wanted somebody from Grant," said Zanobia Rivera, 18, who identified herself as Murphy's girlfriend. "They took the love of my life."

There was a heavy police presence at the Manhattanville Houses Wednesday as officers canvassed the grounds, handing out fliers with both Cartagena's and Brockington's pictures.

Some residents defended Cartagena, known as "Robbie," saying that he had been attacked.

"Where were the police when he was getting beat up," a woman who lives in Manhattanville Houses and gave her name as Jackie asked a police officer who handed her a flier.

She said Cartagena was attacked outside of a C-Town Supermarket a day before the shooting.

Police confirmed that Cartagena had been attacked, but did not provide other details.

Another Manhattanville resident said tensions between the Grant and Manhattanville Houses had been mounting over the last few weeks. She said there was a series of fights between teenagers from both complexes, which police also confirmed.

"Something should have been done when they were out here fighting back and forth," said the woman, who declined to give her name.

On Wednesday, the mourning continued for Murphy, a senior at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers in lower Manhattan, who was affectionately known as "Chicken" because she was bowlegged.

She was ranked as one of the top high school point guards in the country and had received interest from several colleges, said her father Taylon Murphy, 42.

Kimberly Tyson, 18, who described herself as friends with Murphy for four years, said she hoped no one would try to retaliate for Murphy's death.

"It's not going to bring her back," Tyson said. "Further violence is not going to bring her back."