Investigators believe the men charged in the death of Davell Gardner, the city’s youngest gun violence victim last year, were part of a deadly feud between gangs in Brooklyn, police have said.
May 6, 2021Updated 9:50 a.m. ET
It was a heart-rending killing in a summer of overwhelming grief: Davell Gardner, a 1-year-old boy sitting in his stroller last July during a nighttime barbecue in Brooklyn, was shot in the stomach after two gunmen hopped out of an SUV and opened fire on the gathering.
Davell died at 2:30 the next morning and became the city’s youngest gun violence victim last year, two months shy of his second birthday. The shooting, captured on surveillance video, jolted a city already beaten down by the pandemic and roiled by unrest over police brutality.
On Thursday, 10 months later, police announced charges against two men in the killing: a gunman who is also charged in connection with two other murders, and a driver. The gunman, Dashawn Austin, 25, was among 18 young men hit with murder, conspiracy and weapons charges in an indictment to be unsealed Thursday morning in Brooklyn, which detailed the violent gang feud behind the killings.
Mr. Austin and the others charged in the indictment are members of the Hoolies, who have been engaged in a bloody rivalry with the 900 gang in Bedford-Stuyvesant, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. The conflict has left at least six people dead, 14 wounded and many others fearing for their safety in the neighborhood since 2018. Nineteen members of the 900 gang were charged in January.