Jamaica gang member sentenced to 30 years for fatal mistaken-identity shooting of 14-year-old: DA

Jamaica gang member Sean Brown was sentenced Wednesday to three decades in prison for the fatal shooting of 14-year-old Aamir Brown on a Baisley Park Houses basketball court in October 2019.
Photos by Lloyd Mitchell

Jamaica gang member Sean Brown was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday for gunning down 14-year-old Aamir Griffin on a South Jamaica basketball court in a mistaken-identity shooting at the Baisley Park Houses in 2019.

Brown, 21, of 153rd Street, pleaded guilty last month at the Queens Supreme Court to manslaughter, conspiracy, and criminal possession of a weapon.

According to the charges, on the night of Oct. 26, 2019, Griffin was playing basketball at the Baisley Park Houses playground at around 8:00 p.m. From nearby Foch Boulevard, reputed Money World gaming member Brown mistook him for a rival gang member and fired three shots from a .380 caliber handgun. One bullet penetrated Griffin’s upper chest and pierced both his lungs. Griffin was rushed by EMS to Jamaica Hospital and died a short time later.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Brown was one of 33 reputed gang members who were charged in March 2023, in what was framed as the largest gang takedown in the history of the Queens DA’s Office, a wide-ranging 151-count indictment variously charging the defendants with conspiracy, murder, and other crimes.

At the time of the fatal shooting, Money World was in the midst of a “blood feud” with rival gangs Local Trap Stars and Never Forget Loyalty, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, who added that the gang war was set off by a slashing attack in April 2019. The tension and violence between the warring factions escalated with Griffin’s murder. After the youngster was gunned down, there were more than 22 shootings between the rival gangs, one of them fatal.

File photo by Todd Maisel

Investigators tracked Brown down in Los Angeles two years after the fatal shooting and he was extradited back to the borough to face justice.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder denied an attempted plea withdrawal and sentenced Brown to 25 years in prison on the manslaughter charge, five to 15 years on the conspiracy charge, which he will serve concurrently, and an additional five years for an unrelated weapon possession charge. His 30-year prison term will be followed by five years of post-release supervision.,

“Aamir Griffin’s killer has been brought to justice, but we know the heartache continues for his loved ones,” Katz said. “No child should feel unsafe going to a park and no parent should ever have to bury a child.”

Griffin was a student at Benjamin Cardozo High School in Bayside and a member of its freshman basketball program. More than a thousand people attended his funeral at Allen AME Cathedral in St. Albans.

Following the sentencing, Aamir’s mother Shanequa Griffin told reporters, “It doesn’t change the fact that my son is no lo longer here. Just a little bit of closure.”

When the DA announced the indictment against Brown in September 2021, she was surrounded by police brass, elected officials, and community leaders from Southeast Queens on the basketball court where Griffin was murdered. Following Brown’s sentencing on Wednesday morning, Katz said her office would continue to do everything in its power to get illegal guns off the streets.

“Gang gun violence has caused too much harm in our communities,” Katz said. “We will continue to do everything in our power to get illegal guns off our streets in order to prevent another family from suffering such a tragedy.”

File photo by Lloyd Mitchell