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Teen slain in SoHo not intended target in stare down clash shooting: NYPD


A teen fatally shot by a gunman on a Citi Bike in SoHo last week wasn’t the intended target and had just stepped in to diffuse a tense situation sparked by “teenage nonsense over a stare down,” police said.

Cops are still looking for the teen who shot Mahki Brown in the courtyard of the luxury Dominick Hotel on Spring St. near Varick St. Tuesday afternoon.

“Our victim is playing peacemaker here,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said. “He steps in to try to de-escalate the situation.”

The dispute that sparked the shooting occurred a day earlier between two teen girls who attend Mahki’s charter school, the Broome St. Academy.

Teen gunned down in SoHo not intended target: police

Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News

Students from the Broome Street Academy hang outside their school after a fellow student was shot in the back of the head a block from the school building.

“They passed each other in the hallway during school hours, stared at each other and decided they weren’t happy with each other,” Kenny said. “So they decided they were going to fight after school.”

The two girls fought and went their separate ways Monday but decided to renew their clash, this time with a third girl in tow, outside the Dominick Hotel Tuesday, Kenny said.

“They start to have a verbal dispute but cooler heads prevail,” Kenny said. “One of the girl’s brothers steps in to say, ‘Hey, there’s not going to be a fight today. My sister’s not fighting anybody.’ He stands up for his sister and says she’s not fighting.”

That’s when one of the other girls called her brother — the gunman, police said.

“The third girl says ‘Oh, you have your brother, I’m gonna call my brother.’ She makes a phone call and two males, unidentified, show up to the scene on a Citi Bike.”

Teen gunned down in SoHo not intended target: police

Luiz C. Ribeiro for NY Daily News

Dozens of NYPD cops in a public park located near Varick and Prince Sts. where the 16-year-old victim was shot in the back of his head last Tuesday.

One of the suspect was pedaling the Citi Bike. The other “was sitting in the basket,” Kenny said.

Another fight erupted when one of the men on the Citi Bike pulled a .380-caliber pistol and started shooting into a group of about 30 teens that had gathered.

Mahki was hit as he tried to step between the gunman and the teenage girl’s brother, Kenny said.

Mahki was trying to defend the teenage girl and her brother when he was shot but “from speaking to the mother, he’s the kind of guy that would have stepped in to help anybody,” Kenny said.

The two suspects fled on the Citi Bike and have not been caught.

“The motive itself is going to be a dispute,” Kenny said. “It’s going to be teenage nonsense over a stare down.”

It’s believed the shooter has gang ties, Kenny added.

“Some gang wordage was used,” Kenny said. “Someone screamed out ‘Wooptie’ (which is used by) the Woo gang.”

The Woo gang is a Brooklyn-based crew, cops said. In March, an assault on a 20-year-old member of the Woo gang sparked a retaliation attack that ended the life of 13-year-old Troy Gill, cops said.

Family friends said Mahki wouldn’t think twice about defending people in trouble.

“If he sees situations that’s not the right thing, he’ll intervene and try to break fights up,” the teen’s basketball coach Jessica Jenkins, 32, told the Daily News Wednesday. “His heart is going to help out.”

Anyone with information regarding the shooting is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

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