Crime and Courts

Suspect in Shooting Death of Queens Teen on Basketball Court Charged With Murder

Aamir Griffin was shot back in 2019 near the Baisley Park Houses

The man accused in the killing of a beloved Queens teenager is being held at Rikers after being charged with second-degree murder in the Cardozo High School basketball standout.

Sean Brown allegedly fired three times, according to Queens DA Melinda Katz, from a .38 caliber gun, with one of the bullets striking Aamir Griffin in the torso. The reputed gang member fired off several shots at the basketball court, aiming for a rival gang member Brown believed to have his phone.

Surveillance video shows Brown fleeing the scene in the moments after the shooting, even admitting he hit his rival in the head.

"But the person he thought he killed was not the teenager whose last breath was on this basketball court," Katz said.

Griffin's coach at Cardozo, Ron Naclario, said that while no one feels happy about what happened, "I think we can say you feel a little less sad," noting that the arrest still doesn't change that Griffin won't be stating his junior year next week.

The 21-year-old Brown was arrested last week in California, and was later returned to New York City to face charges. Police previously said the suspect appeared in court Saturday afternoon on murder charges following an Aug. 23 by Los Angeles officials. It's still unknown how long Brown had been out of New York.

Police officers had found Griffin on Oct. 26, 2019, with a gunshot wound at the basketball court at the Baisley Park Houses just after 8 p.m. Detectives had told News 4 that they did not believe the boy was the intended target.

Days later the NYPD released surveillance video of two persons of interest wanted in connection with the South Jamaica homicide. Both parties captured on video were believed to be teens themselves.

An official motive behind the shooting hadn't previously been released but detectives had long suspected the incident to be gang-related.

Brown's arrest comes two months after the Queens community gathered at the very basketball court where Griffin died to honor the 14-year-old with a tournament of the sport he loved so much: basketball.

"I made my first shot ever playing with Aamir," Kamari Edey said at the summer's tournament. "He was really kind, he always help me. He was just my idol."

The South Jamaica community has worked tirelessly to keep Griffin's spirit alive in the almost two years since his death, even completing a renovation of the basketball court where he died with photos of the teen.

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