Arrests in local basketball star's murder

Tayshana Murphy (Courtesy New York Post)

September 22, 2011 4:17:17 AM PDT
The two suspects wanted for the murder of high school basketball star Tayshana Murphy were arrested Wednesday afternoon in South Carolina.

A huge memorial is still up at the entrance to the Grant Houses in Morningside Heights. Now, friends of Tayshana Murphy are taking some small comfort in knowing that her accused killers have been found.

Authorities say 20-year-old Robert Cartagena and 21-year-old Tyshawn Brockington were arrested in South Carolina earlier Wednesday. Police say they were hiding together in a closet when they were found.

"I was kind of happy, justice has come for them," friend Raven Thomas said.

Murphy was the pride of the Grant Houses and one of the top 20 female point guards in the country, who was on her way to college and hopefully the WNBA.

Early on the morning of September 11, Tayshana, or Chicken as her friends called her, was shot three times and killed on the fourth floor of the Grant Houses. Investigators believe the shooting may have stemmed from an ongoing rivalry between the Grant Houses and Manhattanville, another housing project nearby.

Friends say Tayshana had hoped that a pro basketball career would take her family out of the projects. Sadly, the 18-year-old didn't live long enough to realize her dream. And while the two arrests in her shooting may bring some relief, it won't bring her back.

A third young man was arrested a few days after the shooting and charged with providing the murder weapon.