Dispute between brothers in S. Jamaica turns deadly

By Michael Morton

Police identified the dead brother as Shane Watkins, 34, a deejay and hip-hop producer, and the hospitalized brother as Rashawn Watkins, 27.

Rashawn Watkins was brought to Mary Immaculate Hospital, where he was in stable condition as of Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said. A third brother, Charon Watkins, 24, was arrested for tampering with evidence, police said.

Police said they discovered the dead body of Shane Watkins and an injured Rashan Watkins at 10:48 p.m. at 145-19 106th Ave. Police did not comment on the details of the shootings and would only say the investigation was ongoing.

It could not be determined why the shootings took place, but police said there might have been an argument about money.

While police said both Shane Watkins and Rashawn Watkins had been in their computer system, it was unclear if they had a prior history of arrests. Police did say, however, that officers had responded to eight domestic disturbances at their residence in the past.

On Monday, family and friends gathered at the Watkins' house, where they lived with two other brothers, several of their nieces and their mother, those close to the family said. Outside on the street, neighbors gathered in small groups as they remembered Shane Watkins, who they said was a well-known deejay and hip-hop producer in the area.

“We're all family out here, it's tough,” said one neighbor. “He was a fine young man,” said another, adding that Shane Watkins was the deejay of the block's yearly party.

While the family members declined to comment on what led to the shootings, Stan Hampton, who described himself as a father figure to Shane Watkins, said he was still trying to make sense of what happened.

“What Shane would ask them to do they would do it,” Hampton said of the relationship between the Watkins brothers. While Hampton did not know of any previous fights or arguments between Shane and Rashan Watkins, he said Sunday's dispute “was probably something ongoing in the house until it exploded.”

Hampton said Shane Watkins had a state-of-the-art recording studio in the basement of the house and that he both performed on his own and produced recordings for other artists in Jamaica and St. Albans. Watkins knew representatives of the major record labels and even Jay-Z and 50 Cent, Hampton said.

Of the studio, Hampton said, “Oh, man, when you left out of there with a recording, it was crystal-clear, he made sure of that. His whole life was music.”

Reach reporter Michael Morton by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by calling 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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