DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Eighteen gang members who carried out a series of shooting sprees across the borough, wounding innocent bystanders in the crossfire while carrying out “hunting expeditions” against rivals, have been indicted, prosecutors said Wednesday.
The suspects, who range from 18 to 27 years old, were charged in a 76-count indictment for shootings that took place over the last two years in various neighborhoods including Canarsie, Flatbush and DUMBO, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced at a Wednesday press conference.
So far, 15 of those men have been arrested, police said, including Kyme “Big Homie” Waddell, the alleged leader of No Love City, a subset of the Folk Nation gang.
Two suspects, Jerome Myrie and Jarmel Blake, remain on the lam, and it’s “only a matter of time” before they are behind bars as well, Thompson said. Another suspect, Javanni Moise, is expected to be extradited from New Jersey.
“We are going to hold these gangs accountable,” Thompson said. “Our streets don’t belong to violent street gangs or armed thugs, they belong to the people of Brooklyn.”
Waddell, 25, allegedly made phone calls from Rikers Island to order the shooting or beating of rival gang members.
Thompson said some of the shootings, which took place between February 2014 and December 2015, happened in front of children as young as 3 and 4 years old.
Corey Roberts, 23, is accused of opening fire on Coney Island Avenue in Kensington at a crowded courtyard where children were playing on scooters. Two bystanders were struck in the July 2015 shooting, which was recorded on surveillance video.
Along with DNA evidence, detectives used social media to track down the men, who planned the shootings in Facebook posts that read, “I wanna boom it up,” and “We gotta make sure somebody get touched tonight,” according to prosecutors.
In one Facebook post, Myrie took credit for a shooting at a May 2014 barbecue party on East 96th Street in Canarsie that left three injured, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said the gang members plotted the shootings — which the gangs referred to as "hunting expeditions" — in order to exact revenge or take out rivals and ensure their own control of the area.
The shootings, some of which took place in broad daylight, wounded innocent victims including a 60-year-old grandmother who was paralyzed from the waist down in a May 2014 shooting, prosecutors said.
In another instance on Oct. 18, 2015, a shootout against rival gang members that started in DUMBO led to a high-speed getaway through Carroll Gardens and Park Slope, and ended when the gang members bailed out of a Cadillac they abandoned by Prospect Park, according to prosecutors.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said the NYPD would be taking “as tough a stance as we can on these stupid, mindless, vicious thugs.”
The men are charged with conspiracy to commit murder, weapons possession and several other charges. They are due back in court on March 22.