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Tayshana Murphy's Brother Questioned About Killing of Walter Sumter

By DNAinfo Staff on December 31, 2011 3:11pm

Well-wishes for Walter Sumter, 18, who was shot to death in Harlem on Dec. 30, 2011, at his home on Morningside Ave.
Well-wishes for Walter Sumter, 18, who was shot to death in Harlem on Dec. 30, 2011, at his home on Morningside Ave.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

By Jeff Mays and Murray Weiss

DNAinfo Staff

HARLEM — The brother of murdered basketball star Tayshana "Chicken" Murphy was questioned by police investigating the killing of Harlem teen Walter Sumter Friday.

Murphy's brother, known only by his street name "Bam Bam," was taken into custody and was released after questioning, police sources said.

They said he was a witness to Sumter's shooting on West 154th Street early Friday. It's unknown if he was actually involved, the sources said.

Sumter, 18, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest after he left a neighborhood party, witnesses and police said.

There have been no arrests.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the shooting stemmed from a fight at the party, sources said.

Murphy, 18, was shot dead in the hallway of her building in the Grant Houses in Harlem at 4 a.m. on Sept. 11.

Police arrested Tyshawn Brockington, 21, and Robert Caratagena, 20, in South Carolina. They allegedly shot the hoops star three times after chasing her down.

Police believe the shooting may have stemmed from a beef between rival crews at the Grant Houses and the nearby Manhattanville Houses.

There was a suggestion that the shooting may have been retaliation for an earlier assault involving Murphy's brother, Bam Bam.

"He's involved with the beef going on," Murphy's cousin, Pierre Walton, 21, told DNAinfo after her shooting.

"They couldn't find her brother so they took it out on her."

Other family members said neither sibling had been involved in the fight.

Sumter's friends gathered Friday outside the Police Athletic League's Harlem Center near his home on Morningside Avenue and West 119th Street and put up a memorial.

Ruqqiyah Husam, program manager for the PAL center, said Sumter, whose nickname was "Reck," was a regular attendee of the night program which ran from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. three days per week.

"He was well-mannered and a jokester," said Husam. "He had a lot of personality and wasn't disrespectful."