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Gang violence claims teen in St. Albans slay

Gang violence claims teen in St. Albans slay
A video surveillance tape (inset) shows 19-year-old Marquis Walker (l.) being shot at the corner of Linden and Francis Lewis boulevards. Photo by Christina Santucci
By Rebecca Henely

A 19-year-old Brooklyn man was shot and killed in front of a store in St. Albans Friday in what those who work in the area believe was a gang-related conflict. Graffiti identifying one gang was painted over with rival gang signs on a wall near the murder site hours later.

“It’s a crazy story,” said Tony Ail, who works in the strip mall on the northwest corner of Francis Lewis and Linden boulevards where the incident occurred.

Police said they responded to a call around 4:55 p.m. Friday about a male shot and found Marquis Walker of East 95th Street and Avenue L in Brooklyn lying on the ground in front of one of the stores. Walker was shot in the chest and leg, police said. After Emergency Medical Services arrived, they took Walker to Queens Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, the police said.

As of press time, there had been no arrests in the case and the investigation was still ongoing, police said.

A photo surveillance shows Walker standing near two others in front of the store. A short time later, a small person dressed in a red hood comes by and shoots Walker. Afterward, the people near Walker and the shooter run away before a group of bystanders rush in to help him.

Another employee at the strip mall, who only gave his name as Ali, said he and others were working in the store at the time of the incident. He heard four shots and he and three of his fellow employees ran outside. They sat next to Walker, tried to keep him conscious and checked his pulse. Ali said Walker’s friends surrounded him soon after.

“We tried to keep him there [alive], but it was his day last night,” Ali said Saturday afternoon.

Ali said he believed the incident was gang-related because the shooter was wearing a red hood, and Ali and his co-workers called Walker by his street name as they were trying to keep him alive.

“It was bad, but things like that happen around here,” Ali said.

Another person who worked at the strip mall and asked not to be identified said the building was “tagged,” or had its side wall spray-painted with gang signs, before the shooting. Those signs were painted over with different gang signs after the police investigating the murder had left around 9 p.m. Friday.

“It’s a normal thing here,” he said.

Since the area is close to where a 13-year-old boy, Kevin Miller, was shot and killed by a stray bullet allegedly fired by a 16-year-old gang member in 2009, Ali said the police used to have an officer stationed there, but they had not had one lately.

Another employee, who gave her name as “Toz,” said she believed the area needed a stronger police presence.

“The ambulance didn’t come until like 10, 15 minutes later,” she said. “It’s kind of messed up.”

A bank robbery occurred across the street from the murder site Saturday around 1:23 p.m.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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