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On Sunday morning, two days after 19-year-old Darryl Adams was murdered outside South Jamaica Houses, his mother was methodically placing candles outside the door to their apartment complex. A makeshift memorial had sprung up and friends and family members dropped by to give her hugs and write messages on a poster.
“It’s just crazy,” she said. “I’m thinking of what to say, but I don’t know how to say it.”
Shanta Merritt is still in disbelief after her son was shot for the second time in nine months, this time fatally.
Adams was known as an up-and-coming basketball player. He played with the Police Athletic League, and in the days following his death, news spread among the officers at the local NYPD precinct.
“Half the 103rd Precinct knew my son,” Merritt said.
Her son was also in the process of getting his GED to take advantage of a SUNY basketball scholarship.
The day he was shot, Adams was set to take a pre-test to determine what classes he would have to complete to start the process.
Adams was first shot in July. He was released from the hospital after taking a bullet to the abdomen, but his friend Terrell Fountain died from his bullet wounds.
Since then, Adams had worn a picture of Fountain around his neck nearly every day, his mother said.
Now, Merritt, friends and family are collecting memorabilia of their own. Outside the apartment complex Merritt had placed several basketball trophies along with the candles, while others had laid down bouquets of flowers.
Merritt is in the process of arranging the funeral.
Police arrested two teens minutes after the shooting and charged them with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
But after raiding a Rosedale residence, cops collared 11 other people, including teens who are suspected of carrying out other shootings with the suspects.
Police cuffed 16-year-old Alexander Burgess, of 88-34 161 St. in Jamaica and 19-year-old Sean Barnhill, of 137-39 224 St. in Laurelton minutes after Adams was gunned down near 107-11 159th St. at about 12:20 a.m, according to police.
Surveillance footage captured the shooting and the immediate police response.
Burgess and Barnhill were charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD.
But both teens were also each charged with attempted murder in connection with two earlier shootings in the 113th and 105th precincts.
Burgess was charged in connection with a Feb. 25 incident, according to the NYPD.
Near the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and 121st Avenue at about 12:40 a.m., a 22-year-old was shot in the arm and torso as he was walking home, police said.
The man was taken to Jamaica Hospital and listed in critical condition.
In addition to Burgess, police said another teen - Dontaye Goines - was also charged with the Feb. 25 attempted murder after cops executed a search warrant at 142-19 Hook Blvd. after Friday’s shooting.
Goines, 17, of 140-41 Springfield Blvd. in Springfield Gardens was found in the residence along with eight other people - who range in age from 17 to 20 - and two minors age 15 and 14, the NYPD said. One 20-year-old woman was among the 11 people arrested, police said.
In the house, police found five handguns and charged all of 11 people with criminal possession of a weapon, according to the NYPD.
Police said they also discovered 17-year-old Romain Brady, of 223-14 135 Ave. in Laurelton, inside the Rosedale home.
Both Brady and Barnhill were charged in connection with a shooting last Thursday, according to police.
At about 8 p.m. near 253rd St. and Francis Lewis Boulevard in Rosedale, a 23-year-old was shot in the abdomen during an attempted robbery of his cell phone, police said.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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