The attorney for 21-year-old Iloune Driver, charged with opening fire on the Brighton Beach boardwalk in 2011, leading to the death of a 16-year-old girl and leaving four others wounded, says that video taken moments after the shooting proves his client’s innocence.
The June 9, 2011, shooting happened as a gunman opened fire on the boardwalk crowded with teens and beachgoers, leaving 16-year-old Tysha Jones, and innocent bystander, dead. Four others were also injured, including a patron of Tatiana Restaurant.
The incident is believed to have been sparked when two groups of rival gang members from the Bloods and the Crips exchanged heated words, leading one to draw on the others and open fire.
“That’s what it was all about — gang stupidity,” prosecutor Janet Gleeson told the Daily News.
None of the five struck by wayward bullets were believed to be involved in the incident.
Police apprehended Driver at the nearby subway station. He wasn’t initially charged, according to the News, and named other suspects. A witness later later identified Driver as the shooter in a phone tip to police, leading to charges including second-degree murder.
But according to Driver’s defense attorney, Mario Romano, video filmed in the immediate aftermath of the shooting provides evidence that flies in the face of the witnesses’ statements that Driver fired from the beach. The video, he said, shows him on the boardwalk, scrambling for cover.
Just hours after the shooting, cell phone video from numerous sources began appearing online that captured that aftermath.
According to the Daily News, there is no ballistic evidence or weapon connecting Driver to the shooting. They note that he is an admitted Crip with the words “True Blue” tattooed on his chest.