FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, November 17, 2017
Two Men Charged in Connection with
Courtyard Shooting that Killed Two Innocent Women
Fired at Group of about 20 People; Apprehended in South Carolina
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that two young men have been charged with murder and weapons possession in connection with a July shooting inside a courtyard in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, which claimed the lives of two mothers who were struck by stray bullets.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “These defendants displayed an utter and complete disregard for human lives when they allegedly shot up a courtyard that was crowded with people. Predictably, they struck two innocent bystanders, young women who left behind daughters, friends and loved ones. We have now apprehended the defendants, brought them back to Brooklyn and intend to hold them accountable for the ruthless shooting they allegedly committed.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendants as Nazir Saunders, 20, of Harlem and Anthony Alexander, 18, of Bedford Stuyvesant. They were arraigned early today in Brooklyn Criminal Court on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. The defendants were held without bail and ordered to return to court on November 22, 2017. They each face up to 50 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on July 12, 2017 at about 9:30 p.m., the defendants entered the courtyard of 750 Gates Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant, which is part of the Stuyvesant Gardens Houses. A group of about 20 people were hanging out inside the location at the time.
It is all alleged that the defendants started shooting, firing a total of nine bullets, three from a .45-caliber gun and six from a .380-caliber. They missed their intended targets and fatally struck two women who were in the courtyard. Chynna Battle, 21, mother of a 3-year-old daughter, was hit in the head, and Shaqwanda Staley, 29, mother of a 9-year-old daughter, suffered a gunshot wound to the back.
Both defendants were arrested in South Carolina on October 31, 2017.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Leila Rosini, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.
A criminal complaint is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.