Rally to stop violence after basketball star's death

September 16, 2011 4:17:36 AM PDT
A community is rallying to stop the violence after a high school basketball star was gunned down.

Tayshana Murphy, 18, was killed Sunday at the Grant Houses in Morningside Heights.

Murphy's family says her killing was part of a long standing feud between neighboring housing projects.

"Please give them up. We are tired of burying our children," said Robert Knight, the victim's aunt.

The tearful plea came from the grieving family of Tayshana Murphy, a standout high school basket player.

She was gunned down in cold blood at the Grant Houses where she lived.

"The war between Manhattanville and Grant must stop must stop," said Jackie Rowe Adams, a family friend.

That war, some believe, stems from a dispute between some who live at the Grant Houses and others who live in the nearby Manhattanville Houses.

Friends say she was mistakenly identified as someone allegedly involved in a previous dispute.

Young friends of the victim rushed to the scene.

"I'm still devastated about seeing that girl on the floor like that. And I'm shaking like it could have been me. That could have been one of my other friends. That could have been somebody else all of that could have been avoided," said Teka Taylor, friend.

So the cry went out Thursday night to stop the killings and get the guns off the streets.

"My idea is to change is to change the penal law, to change the law to make it mandatory. If you get caught with an illegal gun it's seven years," said Norman Seabrook, a community activist.

"We have to call an all out war against gun violence. We have to shake up our households, we have to shake up our government," said Iesha Sekou, of Streetcorner Resources.

Investigators are looking for 20-year-old Robert Cartagena and 21-year-old Tyshawn Brockington, who allegedly shot Tayshana three times.

"We know they are hiding some place. Who's hiding them? Who's hiding them and who's giving them these guns," Adams said.

As a family prepares now for a funeral, a candle lit memorial continues to grow with tributes to this young teenager whose life held so much promise, and was cut woefully short by violence that never seems to end.

"We can't take this! Why are the parents burying their children, why is it not the other way around?" Knight said.