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Family of Murdered Hoops Star Want Meeting with Suspects' Families

By DNAinfo Staff on September 15, 2011 10:28am  | Updated on September 15, 2011 11:19am

By Marina Lopes

Special to DNAinfo

MANHATTAN — Slain basketball star Tayshana “Chicken” Murphy’s relatives invited the families and friends of two suspects in her murder to a public meeting Thursday intended to prevent further gun violence.

The meeting is set to take place at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Grant Houses, the public housing complex where Murphy lived and was gunned down early Sunday morning. It was what relatives call the latest example of ongoing violence between the Grant Houses and the neighboring Manhattanville Houses, where the alleged shooters lived.

“We are going to call Manhattanville and tell them the war must stop,” said Jackie Rowe Adams, a friend of the family.

A memorial to Tayshana Murphy hangs at a Brooklyn fundraiser for her funeral, Sept. 14, 2011.
A memorial to Tayshana Murphy hangs at a Brooklyn fundraiser for her funeral, Sept. 14, 2011.
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DNAinfo/Marina Lopes

Police are currently searching for Robert Cartagena, 20, and Tyshawn Brockington, 21, who allegedly shot Murphy, 18, three times in the chest, hip and arm on the fourth floor of her building just after 4 a.m. Sunday morning.

“There was so much blood. We were sure there was no saving her,” said Murphy’s sister Tanasia Williams, who ran to her sister minutes after she was shot. “Her eyes were wide open ... My baby died with her eyes open,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

Terise Collins, 24, who allegedly supplied the murder weapon, was arrested Monday night at his apartment at the Manhattanville Houses on charges of gun possession. He is being held at Rikers jail on $150,000 cash bail.

Williams, speaking at a fundraiser for the funeral that the family organized at a Brooklyn bar Wednesday night, denied her sister had any involvement with the feud.

“My sister was not in a gang. She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time,” she said.  

Williams also said that their brother was not involved, contrary to some rumors that he may have been involved in a fight that led the Manhattanville Houses crew to retaliate.

"Her murder had nothing to do with her brother,” Williams said. “Some kids from my neighborhood got into an earlier altercation with people and they were coming back to fight.”

Friends at the fundraiser also sold golden chains with laminated photo pendants of Murphy for a four-dollar donation.

She’s young. Everybody don’t expect their child to die so it’s hard to be financially prepared,” said Murphy's eldest sister, Dianna Hicks.

At 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, friends and family poured out of the bar and onto the sidewalk for a candlelight vigil and prayer. As relatives clustered together, they yelled into the night, “Put the guns down and throw the peace sign up.”

Murphy’s wake will be held Friday from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Thomas M. Quinn & Sons Funeral Home, 35-20 Broadway, in Astoria. Her funeral will be held at the funeral home at 10 a.m. Saturday.

“The other day I was talking to my daughter about buying a car,” said her father, Taylonn Murphy.

“Yesterday I was looking at buying funeral caskets. Can you imagine how that feels? “