‘We’re Sad, We Played Basketball with Him Every Day’: 12-year-old Boy Faces Manslaughter, Other Charges After Fatal Shooting of Teen Cousin In New York

In a tragic turn of events, a 12-year-old boy, whose identity remains anonymous due to his age, is now facing charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD. 

Those charges are connected to the recent fatal shooting of his 15-year-old cousin Jasai Guy in Brooklyn on June 2. On the Sunday, Guy and his cousin reportedly were playing with a gun in a fifth-floor apartment at the Howard Houses, according to several reports. The weapon discharged, striking the teen in the chest. 

Jasai Guy, 15, was shot by his younger cousin. 

Despite the swift response of medics who rushed him to Brookdale University Hospital, Guy was pronounced dead, the NBC New York reported. The gun belonged to Guy’s father, who is an FDNY firefighter.

New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams expressed concern about the trauma the 12-year-old boy will face for the rest of his life, as reported by News 12. “This 12-year-old is going to be traumatized for the rest of his life,” Williams said. Friends of the 15-year-old victim — who initially was reported by police as 14 years old — also talked about feeling sad, adding that they played basketball with him every day and he didn’t deserve what happened to him.

“We’re sad, we played basketball with him every day,” one of his friends told News 12. “He doesn’t deserve what happened to him. He doesn’t deserve it. Everybody is young and they’re dying and it’s not cool. I don’t like that everybody’s dying at 14, 15. It’s crazy.”

Although the 12-year-old boy faces felony charges, the age that a child can be prosecuted as an adult in criminal cases is 18, the New York State Unified Court System noted on its website. In fact, New York State law states that a child who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and is charged with committing a serious or violent felony offense is considered a juvenile offender. His case is being heard in Family Court, which released him to the custody of his mother on Monday, June 4.

Following the tragedy, the local community is reeling from the shock of the incident. “It’s sad that kids can’t even come outside and play, kids can’t even be inside and play,” one neighbor told NBC New York. He was described as a good kid, often seen playing with friends on the nearby basketball courts.

This incident is not an isolated one. The shooting took place just steps away from where a 30-year-old man was shot and killed merely two weeks ago, NBC New York said. “Now you got a 14-year-old kid involved in a shooting. Where these guys coming from? And you need to do something with these ghost guns that are running around here,” a local resident expressed his concern.

The NYPD’s latest data reveals a worrying trend in the 73rd precinct, where the Brownsville shooting occurred. This year alone, 12 slayings have been reported, a significant increase from the four reported during the same period last year. 

The community and authorities alike are grappling with the escalating violence and seeking solutions to ensure the safety of their residents. In response to his death, the New York City Department of Education is taking action.

Mayor Eric Adams and Rep. Dan Goldman announced that letters advising parents on safe firearm storage will be distributed to all city school attendees before the end of this school year, according to the Daily News. The initiative aims to prevent such heartbreaking incidents in the future.

“We know that when firearms are properly secured, children are 85% less likely to be victims of an unintentional shooting,” Goldman said. “Our public schools can serve as the conduit for information on safe firearm storage to reach families and save lives.”

Meanwhile, a vigil was hosted by “Brownsville In, Violence Out” to bring awareness to gun violence, as reported by News 12. The organization said it will continue to provide resources to the community with hopes of saving another safe from gun violence.

“We come out here to let everybody know that we are out here,” said Darien Scriven, program manager of the organization. “We’re out here to support you. We have resources. We have jobs. We have different things for our kids and our community.”

Back to top