Teens, 13 And 15, Charged In Redfern Slay
Two local teenagers, a 13-year-old and a 15- year-old, have been charged as adults in connection with the murder of 18-year-old Neville Ward outside the Redfern houses earlier this month, according to a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
The alleged murderers, Taquan Stotts, 15 and Rashaun Ferguson, 13, both of Arverne, are accused of fatally shooting Ward in the head on Saturday night, January 5, in front of 1530 Hassock Street in the Redfern Housing complex.
Ward was transported to the trauma unit at Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived.
Police believe Stotts was the gunman, and have charged him with first degree manslaughter, as well as second degree murder, which, sources say, can lead to a sentence of 25 years to life.
Ferguson has been charged with second-degree murder for allegedly playing a part in the murder along with Stotts.
According to witnesses, Ward simply said "what's up" and Stotts pulled a 38-caliber handgun and listened as Ferguson allegedly screamed "Burn him, burn him, kill him."
Stotts then shot Ward in the head just above his left ear, court records say.
Both defendants are being held on $200,000 bail, according to a spokesperson for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Many locals close to the Redfern community have indicated that Ward was one of the "good kids," and are still upset and surprised to hear about his untimely death.
Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska, said that he thought that the crime rate in and around the Redfern Houses was finally under control.
"It is really sad," Gaska said. "Things were quiet in Redfern for a while and I really thought we had turned a corner for the better."
The NAACP Youth Council is still organizing its "Day of Healing" for Sunday, January 27, in an attempt to counter the violence that often occurs in public housing projects such as Redfern, in order to "instill the power of healing and hope."
Although in continuous support of the NAACP Youth Council's various public awareness campaigns, Community Board 14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska has a different outlook on the solution to the violence, drugs and gun problems that infect the public housing projects in Rockaway.
Gaska believes that, in addition to the anti-violence "Day of Healing," the 101 Precinct needs additional resources in order to cut down on violence in parts of Rockaway.
"We need more cops on the streets," Gaska said. "That is the first thing that has to be done."