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Three Queens men indicted in Rufus King Park shooting death last year

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz joins detectives from the 103rd Precinct after the shooting in Rufus King Park last October. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Three Queens men have been indicted by a grand jury in the shooting death of a Bronx man in a marijuana deal gone bad at Rufus King Park in Jamaica last year, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, announced that Chance Goode, Torren King and Jabari Curtis were arraigned in Supreme Court Thursday, July 8, on murder charges and other crimes in the October 2020 killing of 22-year-old Numani Lambert in broad daylight.

Goode, of Jamaica, and King, of Rockaway, both 18, and Curtis, 22, of St. Albans, were arraigned before Queens Supreme Court Justice Lenora Gerald on a nine-count indictment. The trio are charged with murder in the second degree, attempted robbery in the first and second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and conspiracy in the fourth degree.

According to the charges, at around 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 15, Lambert and two others arrived at Rufus King Park after an alleged agreement had been made on Facebook to sell marijuana to a buyer who went by the online name “Pimmy Don.” As Lambert and his two companions walked in the park, one of his friends used Facebook to send messages to “Pimmy Don,” who responded that he was sending his “boys” to make the cash-for-marijuana exchange.

Katz said the group of three he met with two men in the park, one of whom was King. There was a dispute between the groups and when King refused to hand over the cash, Lambert and his friends turned and walked away. That’s when King allegedly pulled out a gun and stated, “Now you have to give it to me.”

As outlined in the charges, King allegedly fired two shots and Lambert. A single bullet hit Lambert in the head. He would later be rushed to Jamaica Hospital where he died three days later.

Katz, who arrived at the scene of the shooting during the investigation, said that during a court authorized search of Goode’s home, investigators allegedly recovered the murder weapon, a 9mm Luger, along with nine rounds of ammunition. Goode was later identified as the would-be buyer “Pimmy Don,” who had arranged the meeting on Facebook with one of the victim’s friends.

Goode also allegedly sent King to rob the three and instructed defendant Curtis to drive King to the park, wait for him to rob them and then drive them away from the scene.

“As alleged, the defendants orchestrated and carried out a brazen robbery scheme that resulted in the broad daylight murder of a 22-year-old man, at a park frequented by children and teenagers,” Katz said. “We must stop the scourge of gun violence in our communities.”

The NYPD dispatched members of the Emergency Service Unit to Rufus King Park in the aftermath of the shooting.

“Gun violence has no place in New York City or anywhere,” Shea said. “We are committed to finding those who are responsible and holding them to account. I commend the investigators and prosecutors whose efforts resulted in these indictments.”

Justice Gerald set a return date for July 19. If convicted, the defendants face up to 25 years to life in prison.

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