New York

NYC Courthouse Brawl Turns Deadly When Men Run Down Rival Crew Member: Official

Police are investigating whether a woman fatally shot in the face was hit by a stray bullet from the confrontation

What to Know

  • One man is dead and four others were detained after a courthouse brawl turned violent on Staten Island on Tuesday
  • An official says the man who was killed fired at people in a van, who in turn hit him and pinned him to the side of a bed and breakfast
  • Sources say police are looking into whether a woman who was shot several blocks away was hit by a stray bullet from the chaos

An alleged gunman is dead after a brawl between gang members outside a courthouse on Staten Island ended with members of a rival crew using a minivan to ram him into the side of a bed and breakfast, according to a law enforcement official.

Police also investigating whether a 67-year-old woman who was hit in the face by a stray bullet at a bus stop several blocks away is connected to the chaos at the Richmond County Supreme Court house in St. George on Tuesday morning, according to law enforcement sources. 

It all began when four people -- members of rival crews -- bumped into one another outside the courthouse ahead of hearings and began fighting, according to one official.

Court officers broke up the brawl and sent the men to their respective hearings, but the the confrontation didn't end. After the proceedings ended, one man began firing at a possibly stolen van carrying the other three men. He then took off running. 

The van sped off after the gunman, according to police and the official. When the man was a few blocks away from the courthouse, the van ran him down and pinned him between the hood and the side of a bed and breakfast on Fort Place.

The man, later identified as 26-year-old Robert Craigwell, of Staten Island, was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The official said court officers made the initial arrests after the van slammed into the building; police later said four people in all were taken into custody. Charges haven't yet been announced.

Finally, police got yet another call several blocks away -- on Jersey Street -- about a 67-year-old woman who was unconscious with a gunshot wound to the face. Two law enforcement sources said the woman may have been struck by a stray bullet from the courthouse flap. That woman was initially reported to have died, but an NYPD spokesman later clarified that she is on life support.

Relatives identified her as Fran Williams. Her niece, Priscilla Lewis, told News 4 that Williams was on her way to visit Lewis and her children when she was shot: "I came downstairs, and my aunt was outside on the floor, and all I could do was talk to her and wait for an ambulance to come." 

"I was telling her she'll be OK, she'll be all right: 'You'll be all right, they're coming," said Lewis. 

Williams remained in extremely critical condition at the hospital Tuesday night. 

The official said the leading theory is that the violence wasn't premeditated, and the two crews were in a coincidental run-in at the courthouse.

Five men have been arrested in the stolen car chase and crash: Isaiaha Black, 20; Illyah Baker, 22; Tyreek Gomez, 16; and Hassan Ray, 24; Prince Edmonds, 19, all of Staten Island. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys who could comment on the charges. 

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