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Cops arrest pair in Queensbridge native’s shooting

A memorial was set up in the Queensbridge Houses for slain basketball star Tayshana Murphy. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

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Manhattan prosecutors said they were waiting for the arrival of two suspects they say were responsible for gunning down a Queensbridge native and rising basketball star three weeks ago in Morningside Heights section of Harlem.

Tyshawn Brockington, 21, and Robert Cartagena, 20, were awaiting extradition back to New York Tuesday afternoon to face criminal charges in connection with the Sept. 11 shooting death of Tayshana Murphy. The pair, who lived at the Manhattanville housing projects, were arrested Sept. 21 in Columbia, S.C., by the NYPD’s fugitive task force, according to a police spokesman.

A third suspect, Terique Collins, 24, was arrested a few days after the murder and charged by Manhattan prosecutors with weapons possession in connection with Murphy’s death, according to DNAInfo.com.

Murphy, who moved with her family from Queensbridge to the Grant Houses five years ago, was a star point guard for the varsity girls’ basketball team at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers. Investigators say youth tensions between the two Harlem housing projects were a factor in the shooting.

Murphy, who was known as “Chicken” to her friends and family, was renowned for her skills on the basketball court and was being heavily scouted by many college sport recruitment offices, according to her family.

During her funeral in Long Island City Sept. 17, hundreds of mourners gathered to pay their final respects to Murphy. The service at the Quinn Funeral Home was so packed with people that many of the victim’s friends had to stay outside and wait for her casket.

Murphy’s death has spurred a call to end senseless violence from residents at housing projects all over the city, community leaders and elected officials such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo pushed for a crackdown on illegal guns on the streets with tighter gun control laws during a news conference last week.

Following her funeral, a candlelight rally for peace was held at Queensbridge, where hundreds of tenants came out.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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