Cops Bust Suspect In Gang Slay
A local man arrested by detectives on Tuesday for the murder of Laton Spurgeon on December 19 is the brother of another local murdered in what police are terming an ongoing war between rival gangs at two Rockaway housing projects.
Andrew Smalls, 18, of 7600 Shore Front Parkway in Rockaway Park was picked up by detectives from the 101 Precinct Squad on Tuesday for Spurgeon's murder, which took place at 407 Fernside Place in Far Rockaway.
Spurgeon was thought by police to be connected to the murder of Cedric Smalls, Andrew's brother, on December 15. Cedric, who lived at the same address as Andrew, was shot and killed in front of 81-03 Beach Channel Drive in the Hammels Houses.
Spurgeon, who lived at 54-11 Almeda Avenue, in the Ocean Bay Houses, reportedly lived right next door to Christopher Glenn, a 16-year-old Beach Channel High School student who was shot and killed in front of a Hammel Houses building in late November.
Spurgeon was first run over by his killer, eyewitnesses said. Then, the killer got out of the car, kneeled down over Spurgeon, who was lying in the street, and shot him several times in the back and legs.
Reports at the time said that the shooter, now believed to be Andrew Smalls, also scattered several shots into the neighborhood before getting back in his car and driving away.
Published reports say that Andrew Smalls is affiliated with a Hammels Gang called GIB for "Get it in bricks." Since May 2006, that gang has been in a war with the Bloods, an Ocean Bay gang, and another, unnamed group. Spurgeon is reputed to be a member of the unnamed gang, police sources say. Both Cedric Smalls and his brother, Andrew, are also reputed to be members of the Bloods.
Cedric was a suspect in the September 17 shooting of Jerome Sandford, 20 another reputed gang member. Sandford was hit in the ankle and survived.
In May of last year, patrol officers from the 100 Precinct found Rodney Smalls in the hallway of 81-05 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, in the Hammel Houses, with a gun. Rodney passed the gun to Andrew, who ran to the roof and tossed the gun onto the roof of an adjoining building, police say. Rodney and Andrew were arrested for criminal possession of a weapon. At that time, Cedric was arrested, but was never indicted for the crime.
Andrew Smalls was arraigned on Tuesday on one charge of murder in the second degree, six counts of attempted murder and one count of criminal possession of a weapon.
If convicted, Small faces 25 years to life in prison, a spokesperson for District Attorney Richard Brown said. Smalls was to appear in court today, but sources say that he had not yet been assigned representation and that his hearing may be postponed.
Police sources say that they are still looking for at least three additional suspects in connection with the spate of murders that took place at the end of last year.
Court document allege that Smalls "acted in concert with others" in the Spurgeon murder.