Gangsters accused in violence that hit innocent bystanders

Aamir Griffin, 14, died in gang violence while playing basketball in Queens, New York. (Screenshot from Fox 5 New York)

Thirty-three gangsters and associates have been indicted on charges stemming from a bloody feud that claimed innocent bystanders, including the life of a 14-year-old boy playing basketball in a housing project in Queens, New York.

The arrests stemmed from a war between three street gangs. Five reputed gang members indicated in the case were charged with murder in two cases of mistaken identity—one, the shooting of 14-year-old Aamir Griffin, the other of a man mistaken for a rival.

In the wake of the news of the indictment, Aamir’s mother, Shanequa Griffin, told ABC7 New York she’ll never be the same.

“Getting up, going to work every day, sometimes it’s a struggle just for me to get out of the bed,” she told the station.

The indictment capped a nearly three-year investigation into gun and gang violence in and around the Baisley Park Houses. Officials said it was one of their largest gang takedowns ever in the area.

“Whether it was a young man playing basketball with friends, a schoolteacher walking his dog, or a mother running out for milk for her children, we have seen law-abiding New Yorkers peacefully going about their business killed by mindless gang gun violence,” District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. “We must do absolutely everything we can to get illegal firearms off of our streets.”

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