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Brooklyn tot Davell Gardner died as a result of a bloody turf war between rival street gangs that left more than a dozen other victims in its wake, authorities said Thursday.
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced the takedown of 18 reputed gang members charged in a newly unsealed 63-count indictment, including Dashawn Austin, 25, who allegedly fired the shot that killed the tragic 1-year-old last summer.
“In July of last year, we were all horrified and outraged to see depictions of images of two gunmen shooting indiscriminately toward the park where people were having a barbecue,” Gonzalez said at a press conference Thursday.
“That image was seared into our minds. Four people were shot, three, as we learned, were wounded. But baby Davell Gardner, just 22 months old, lost his life.”
“We now know that those responsible for his death are members of a violent street gang called the Hoolies,” the DA said.
The 1-year-old was sitting in a stroller at a family cookout at the Raymond Bush Playground in Bedford-Stuyvesant on July 12, 2020, when he was gunned down in a drive-by shooting, according to police.
The toddler’s senseless death was part of the Hoolies’ war with the rival 900 gang.
“This important indictment of Hoolie gang members solves four murders and eight non-fatal shooting incidents,” Gonzalez said. “In total, we have 13 shooting victims, including a number of innocent bystanders.”
New details also emerged about the melee that left Davell dead: The gang used a three-car caravan to carry out the shooting, including a “chase car” that diverted police away from the alleged shooters.
The cars circled the block, with Austin in the passenger seat of an Audi allegedly driven by fellow gang member Akeem Artis — when they opened fire and sped off.
Austin and Artis are both charged in Davell’s death.
The two men and other Hoolies were implicated in three other shootings.
The gang, made up of members affiliated with branches of the Blood, Crips and Folk street gangs, is based at the Roosevelt Housing Development in Bed-Stuy and was embroiled in a turf war with the rival 900 gang, Gonzalez said.
The bloody feud stemmed in part from a December 2018 encounter where 900 members shot and killed a Hoolie gang member and wounded Artis — sparking retaliatory shootings that left one man dead and another, an innocent bystander, wounded.
On March 3 last year, Austin and another alleged gang member allegedly followed a rival gangster from an Atlantic Avenue bar, shooting him dead.
Austin was charged in that attack and in jail when he was busted for the Davell shooting, law enforcement sources said.
Two other Hoolies allegedly shot a member of the 900 gang three times in the head as he sat in his car outside a Brooklyn bodega, killing him, on Sept. 1, 2020.
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