On September 20th, the entire city of Harlem mourned the loss of beloved community member, Anthony Brooks, who was gunned down in an unfortunate robbery gone wrong. According to police, the victim, who is well-known for selling jerk chicken in the neighborhood, was doing what he always does, grilling chicken on the sidewalk.
Suddenly, a masked man ran up to Brooks at around 11:15 A.M. The culprit attempted to grab a bag according to nearby witnesses. That’s when Brooks abandoned his chicken and got into a physical altercation with the man over the backpack. The culprit then pulled out a firearm and fatally shot Brooks in the chest.
The gunman fled away in a vehicle with the suspect’s backpack.
The authorities rushed to the scene and brought Brooks to Harlem Hospital, but emergency responders were not able to save him. The neighborhood is devastated. Brooks was reportedly always feeding the neighborhood free of charge and helping care for the community’s children. One long-time neighborhood resident said, “He’s been on this corner my whole life.”
On September 21, police released surveillance footage that shows the man they believe fatally shot the Harlem resident. He appears to be wearing a white hoodie and mask in the footage, which was captured at a nearby deli before the shooting incident happened.
Investigators are still attempting to determine what happened with the robbery. Some suspect that the backpack may have contained drugs, but others contend that it was simply an act of robbery.
When Violent Crime Turns Fatal
The loss of life is always tragic, but it’s even worse when a death did not have to happen. Violent crime, like a robbery attempt, can easily turn fatal when a deadly weapon is brought to the scene. Unfortunately, the fatality can occur to either the perpetrator of the crime or the victim.
If you’ve recently been involved in any type of criminal activity that may have led to a fatality, then it’s important to seek out legal representation as soon as you can. Even accidental deaths are taken extremely seriously and are considered criminal acts when they happen while you’re committing another crime.
The good news is that there are ways that you can defend yourself. One of the top strategies against these types of charges is self-defense. Lethal force isn’t always a crime. If the shooter was in reasonable fear for his life, then it might be possible to argue that the use of force was justified. Depending on your specific circumstances, other defense strategies might be available to you including coming up with a solid alibi, arguing that your rights were violated during your arrest, or saying that you never committed the crime.
The best way to determine what legal defense strategy to use is to go over your specific circumstances with a lawyer. The right representative will take the time to help you strategize and come up with a solid defense strategy.
If you’re in New York or a nearby area, then we’d like to hear from you. Schedule a case review with our office now to get started.