17 alleged gang members charged in sweeping indictment in Brooklyn
Seventeen alleged gang members responsible for a spate of shootings, including four murders, were charged in an 118-count indictment in Brooklyn on Tuesday, officials announced.
The defendants, 14 of whom are teenagers, are accused of hunting down rival gang members and committing a series of armed assaults, killing four people and wounding 10 in the process, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office said.
“One of the most disturbing aspects of this case is the age of the defendants in this indictment. Some of them were as young as 14 or 15 years old” when the crimes were committed, said Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez at a news conference.
“That is heartbreaking, that some of our youngest residents in our county are involved in this gang and gun violence … it’s devastating and it’s truly destructive.”
The alleged babyfaced killers are members of the YPF gang — an alliance of three street gangs in Brownsville, East New York and Fort Greene that banded together to increase their power as they waged a war against their enemies, prosecutors said.
Videos obtained throughout the investigation allegedly show the teens flaunting their guns in a series of social media posts, including one that depicts a defendant shoving a gun inside a puppy’s mouth as he holds the dog by its scruff.
“These videos really show, and they were all uncovered during the course of the investigation, how deeply ingrained the problem is, how this gang and gun culture has obsessed these young men. They wave these guns around. They show them off. They brag about them. These guns are in a way something that they think makes them men,” Gonzalez told reporters.
“It just shows how deep our challenge is to change the culture that we have in some parts of our community.”
Last October, Iquan Warlick, 17, and Nakhai Addison, 17, allegedly shot and killed college freshman Sherard McKoy, 18, while he was inside of an East New York bodega waiting for food alongside an alleged rival of the two teens, prosecutors said.