Picture – Right: Davell Gardner, 1 year old, killed by ‘stray bullet’ while in his stroller; Left: His alleged killer, 25-year-old Dashawn Austin.
The New York Daily News:
The accused shooter in last summer’s horrific stray bullet shooting of a 1-year-old boy outside a Brooklyn playground was charged Thursday in the devastating death that shocked a pandemic-stricken city and rattled Mayor de Blasio.
Dashawn Austin, 25, was busted Wednesday for murder and attempted murder in the gang-related July 12 gunplay that left the toddler dead and three men wounded outside the Raymond Bush Playground on Madison St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant, authorities said.
Little Davell Gardner was sitting in a stroller when struck by the bullet about 11:15 p.m. as relatives of his mother gathered for a family cookout on a summer night.
The arrest reopened old wounds for Davell’s paternal grandmother Samantha Gardner, who was overwhelmed after learning a suspect was in custody.
“It’s very emotional,” she told the Daily News at her home Thursday. “My son and I … we just have to digest it. Everything is being brought up again. I don’t want to talk about it at this time.”
Austin is a member of the Hoolie Gang, a local crew at war with the rival 900 St. Gang, according to police sources. The arrest was announced by Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez as he detailed a 63-count indictment charging 18 Hoolie members with a wide array of criminal charges, including four murders and eight non-fatal shootings.
RELATED STORY AT THE NY DAILY NEWS: A close friend of slain 1-year-old Davell Gardner’s family recounted for the first time the harrowing scene outside a Brooklyn park last July after the suspected killer was charged Thursday with a murder that broke the city’s collective heart.
“When I seen her child gasping for the last little bit of air . . .” he told the Daily News, his voice trailing off. “He was fighting for his life the whole ride. I was trying to close the wound in his stomach, trying to put pressure.”
“Insidious gang violence as we allege in this case has taken and traumatized far too many lives, including many innocents such as Davell Gardner — a bright and loved baby boy with his whole life ahead of him,” said Gonzalez.
Austin was one of two shooters who exited a dark-colored Audi SUV and started blasting, with one of the bullets hitting the innocent baby in the stomach as he sat inside the stroller, authorities said. The child died shortly afterward at Maimonides Medical Center.