A 16-year-old died after being stabbed during a street brawl in Oceanside, New York, on Monday this week, September 16.
According to police, around 50 other teenagers witnessed the fight, but rather than help they stood by and filmed the incident on their phones, with footage later appearing on social media, according to reports.
The victim, Khaseen Morris, died in hospital after suffering a stab wound to the chest. Authorities are urging any witnesses to come forward, especially those who filmed the incident, to help police correctly identify suspects.
In a press conference, Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Department told reporters, via INSIDER:
They videoed his death instead of helping him.
This can’t go on. Your friends are dying while you stand there and video it. That’s egregious.
Speaking about the number of people who seem to be in the video, Fitzpatrick added:
There’s got to be about 50, 60, 70 kids here. We have a handful of kids that have come forward and have identified subjects involved in this. There is definitely more.
He added any witnesses should come forward as soon as possible, saying ‘after I put handcuffs on you is not going to be the time’.
Authorities have not yet made any arrests, though Fitzpatrick said they have persons of interest they are looking into, and believe the incident to be a targeted attack, after the fight allegedly broke out over a girl.
Khaseen’s older sister, Kedeemah Morris, told The New York Times she believed the fight broke out after a 10th-grade girl asked Khaseen to walk her home, which she suspected was intended to make an ex-boyfriend jealous. Kadeemah also claimed her brother had been threatened by the ex-boyfriend.
My brother, he shrugged stuff like that off. He told the boy he didn’t want his girlfriend, it was nothing like that, he just walked her home. The boy said he didn’t care.
Kadeemah said her brother was a ‘sweet’ and ‘funny’ boy, who said he was ‘friends with everyone’.
An eyewitness, who wished to remain anonymous, saw the tragic event unfold, saying Khaseen was ‘ambushed’.
They told ABC7:
There was a bunch of people sitting by the Chinese restaurant… about 15 kids, and then all of a sudden while I was on the phone speaking – eight, seven or eight kids came from the north and targeted certain people that I believe they were looking for.
Detective Fitzpatrick said police are searching for six to seven different assailants, reportedly from different schools, and that he thinks ‘all players are known to each other.’
Anyone with information is asked to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.