Four Hoolie Gang Members Variously Convicted in Multiple Shootings, Including the Death of One-Year-Old Davell Gardner Jr. in Bed-Stuy


Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Four Hoolie Gang Members Variously Convicted in Multiple Shootings, Including the Death of One-Year-Old Davell Gardner Jr. in Bed-Stuy  

Defendants Were Engaged in Gang War with Rival Street Gang

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that four defendants have been convicted in a series of gang-related homicides and shootings, including the shooting death of Davell Gardner Jr., who was just 22 months old when he was shot and killed during a cookout in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The defendants were convicted following a six-month jury trial.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “Today’s verdict sends a clear message that Brooklyn’s streets will not be playgrounds for gang wars. The reckless bloodshed perpetrated by these individuals not only robbed the innocent Davell Gardner, Jr., of a future but has also left an indelible scar on our community. These defendants will be held accountable for their horrific crimes, and my office stands unwavering in our fight against the scourge of gang violence in our neighborhoods. I commend the outstanding prosecutors in my office who tried this complex and lengthy case and thank the NYPD for their excellent work.”

The District Attorney identified the defendants as Travis Scott, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Dashawn Austin, of Canarsie, Jayquan Lane, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Akeem Artis of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Scott, Austin and Lane were variously convicted today of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and second- and fourth-degree conspiracy following a six-month jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun. Artis was convicted of first-degree manslaughter, second-degree attempted murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, fourth-degree conspiracy, and first-degree reckless endangerment. Sentencing was set for May 1, 2024 for Artis and May 8, 2024 for the other defendants.

The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, the defendants are members of a violent street gang known as Hoolies, primarily based in and around the Roosevelt Housing Development in Bedford-Stuyvesant. The evidence presented at trial showed that the reason for Hoolies to commit acts of violence include retaliation against rival gangs and to display the gang’s strength.

Between May 2018 and May 2021, the Hoolies territory included 721 Willoughby Avenue and 303 Vernon Avenue, as well as the New York City Housing Authority Roosevelt Houses development and the surrounding area from Kosciuszko Street to Pulaski Street in between Marcus Garvey Boulevard to Stuyvesant Avenue.

The District Attorney said that, according to the evidence, on July 12, 2020, Dashawn Austin was seen entering the passenger seat of an Audi driven by Akeem Artis that turned on to Madison Street, near a park where there was a cookout. Austin fired into the park, striking Davell Gardner Jr., 22 months old, who later died, and three other people. Austin was convicted of second-degree murder and Artis was convicted of first-degree manslaughter for that shooting death. Austin was convicted of three counts of second-degree attempted murder and Artis was convicted of three counts of first-degree attempted assault in connection with the other three innocent victims struck in the park shooting. Artis was also convicted of one count of second-degree attempted murder in connection with a June 24, 2020 shooting.

Furthermore, according to the evidence, on March 3, 2020, Dashawn Austin and Jayquan Lane entered the Kinanm Lounge on Atlantic Avenue where alleged gang rival Janile Whitted was in attendance. They followed him when he left the lounge, and Austin fired several shots into his chest at close range, killing him. Austin and Lane were convicted of second-degree murder in that shooting death.

Travis Scott was also convicted of second-degree murder for the December 4, 2018 shooting death of Tyree Walker, 35, who was not a rival, as he walked towards his home on Myrtle Avenue, and of second-degree attempted murder for shooting and paralyzing a 23-year-old man that same night.

The case was prosecuted by Executive Assistant District Attorney and Chief of Staff Nicole L. Chavis, Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Trial Division Joseph P. Alexis, and Senior Assistant District Attorneys Michael Diamond and Fabiola Marrufo, of the District Attorneys Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau.