Nearly two weeks after a Long Island teenager was stabbed to death in footage uploaded on social media, authorities have announced seven suspects have been charged.
Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder announced Saturday that 19-year-old Haakim Mechan, 18-year-old Marquis Stephens Jr., 18-year-old Javonte Neals, 17-year-old Taj Woodruff, 17-year-old Sean Merritt, and two 16-year-old male juveniles were arrested for the fatal stabbing of Khaseen Morris. All suspects were charged with gang assault, and the named five are being charged as adults. The juveniles have not been identified.
“These seven subjects were active participants in the attack on Khaseen Morris and his friends,” said Nassau County Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick at the Sept. 28 press conference according to ABC News. “Physically beating, physically hitting people, throwing them to the ground, each one of them had an active role.”
The 16-year-old was fatally stabbed outside a pizzeria in Oceanside, New York after school on Sept. 16. Khaseen was ordered to be there by other students. The teen was reportedly seen with another boy’s girlfriend, which police said led to the scuffle. Up to seven teens then beat up the Oceanside High School senior. Most notably, the incident was recorded by some 60 teenage onlookers, who then posted the incident on Snapchat.
“Kids stood here and didn’t help Khaseen,” Fitzpatrick told reporters at the time following the incident. “They’d rather video. They videoed his death instead of helping him.”
The seven suspects join 18-year-old Tyler Flach, who has pleaded not guilty to the second-degree murder charge. Police say Flach, an aspiring rapper, stabbed Khaseen multiple times.
Khaseen, who adored skateboarding, was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
During the Saturday news conference, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said the case is now headed to a grand jury, ABC News reported. There, charges can be added or changed, as the probe remains ongoing.
“I want to emphasize that there still is video out there. We still believe there are witnesses who can come forward,” Singas said during the press conference, per ABC 7.
The announcement of the seven suspects being charged came on the same day that Khaseen’s family was laying him to rest. Dozens of skateboarders and bicyclists rode out from the funeral home where the late teen’s services were held.
“Khaseen rode his skateboard everywhere,” his sister Kedeemah Morris told News 12 Long Island. “I know right now, if he could see all of this, he would be so happy, leading everyone.”