Outside the South Jamaica Houses on Friday afternoon, several young men and women, many of them wiping away tears, were gathered to mourn the loss of one of their own.
They placed candles and signed a white sheet and a basketball with their final farewells at the scene where only hours earlier Darryl Adams, 18, was gunned down.
One visitor, who was placing a candle at the makeshift memorial, said he didn’t know the victim, but still felt compelled to say good-bye. “He was from the neighborhood,” the man, who declined to give his name, said. “It’s a respect thing.”
Plainclothes officers on a routine patrol heard shots fired in front of 107-11 159 St. at around midnight and saw a 19-year-old man holding a gun and standing over Adams, who was unconscious and unresponsive, police said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
When the cops approached the alleged assailant and identified themselves as police officers, he fled on foot and they chased him. The man attempted to get into a car — a 2009 Chevy Malibu occupied by a 17-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl — but the police nabbed him, according to the NYPD.
Two firearms were recovered near the crime location. The two occupants of the vehicle and an additional 16-year-old boy were taken to the 103rd Precinct for questioning, police said.
Alexander Burgess, 16, of 161st Street in Jamaica and Sean Barnhill, 19, of 224th Street, also in Jamaica, have each been charged with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in connection with the Adams killing at the 40 Houses.
One woman, who lives near where the shooting occurred, was shocked to learn what had happened as she left her apartment building with her 4-year-old daughter at around 8 a.m.
“She was asking me, ‘Mommy, what happened?’” the woman, who did not want to be identified, recalled. “There were people standing around crying and the police were washing the blood away and taking down the crime scene tape. What do you say to your child? I don’t want to wake up and see something like that. It’s horrible.”
Burgess and Barnhill have also been charged in connection with other non-fatal shootings, which they allegedly committed with other accomplices. Burgess allegedly shot a 22-year-old man — once in the left arm and once in the abdomen — as the victim was walking home near Sutphin Boulevard and 121st Avenue on Feb. 25 at around 12:40 a.m. He and his alleged accomplice, Dante Goines, 17, of Springfield Boulevard, have been charged with attempted murder, first-degree assault and criminal possession of a weapon. The victim was transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in critical but stable condition.
Barnhill allegedly shot a 23-year-old man in the abdomen during the attempted robbery of the victim’s cell phone on March 1 at around 8 a.m. near 253rd Street and Francis Lewis Boulevard. Barnhill and his alleged accomplice Romain Brady, 17, fled without the cell phone. They have been charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery and criminal possession of a firearm. The victim was taken to an area hospital in stable condition.
In connection with the 103rd Precinct’s investigation of the Adams homicide, members of the 105th Precinct Detective Squad, with the assistance of the Emergency Services Unit, executed a search warrant at 142-19 Hook Creek Blvd. in Rosedale and arrested 11 people and recovered five firearms — a Smith and Wesson .38-caliber revolver with a silver frame and black grip, and several pistols: a black Hi-Point 9-mm semi-automatic, a gray Cal Kel-Tec .380 semi-automatic, a Smith and Wesson 9-mm semi-automatic and a .380 semi-automatic.
The suspects have been charged with five counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and five counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The names of two of them — boys ages 14 and 15 —are being withheld because they are juveniles.
The others are: Tarrance Houser, 20, of 195th Street; Willie Yelder, 19, of 220th Place; Romain Brady, 17, of 135th Avenue; James Chandler, 17, of 83rd Avenue; Kenth Charles, 17, of 141st Avenue; Dante Goines, 17, of Springfield Boulevard; and Derrell Jones, 18, Lynnard Biggs, 17, and Jalissa Thomas, 20, all of Hook Creek Boulevard. Most of the suspects are from Jamaica, except for the ones from Rosedale and Goines, who lives in Springfield Gardens.