Suspect pleads guilty to 2019 mistaken-identity slaying of teen Aamir Griffin in Queens

Suspect in handcuffs in Aamir Griffin murder in Queens
Sean Brown is led out of the 113th precinct house in Queens on Sept. 4, 2021.
File Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A 21-year-old alleged gang member pled guilty on Sunday to the 2019 mistaken-identity slaying of 14-year-old Aamir Griffin on a Queens playground.

Jamaica resident Sean Brown copped to manslaughter, conspiracy, and gun possession charges before Queens Supreme Court Judge Kenneth Holder on March 17, District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Sunday. The DA says Brown is expected to be sentenced to 30 years in prison; sentencing is scheduled for April 10.

Griffin was shooting hoops on a playground at the Baisley Park Houses in South Jamaica on the evening of Oct. 26, 2019, when he was shot three times with a .380 caliber handgun. One of the bullets entered his chest and pierced his lungs, killing him.

The DA said Brown, a teen himself at the time and a reputed member of the Money World gang, had fired the shots from nearby Foch Boulevard after mistaking him for a rival gang member.

A picture of Aamir Griffin hangs at the Baisley Houses basketball court.File Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

Money World was, at the time, in the midst of a “blood feud” with rival gangs Local Trap Stars and Never Forget Loyalty, the DA said. Griffin’s slaying only escalated the tensions, and there were 22 additional shootings between the gangs, one fatal, Katz said.

“When I became the DA, I committed to bringing Aamir Griffin’s killer to justice. We have succeeded and will continue doing absolutely everything we can to get illegal firearms and the criminals who use them off our streets,” Katz said in a statement. “Warring gangs are not just a threat to each other, but to all of us.”

Brown was indicted for the killing in Sept. 2021. He and 32 other reputed gang members were ultimately embroiled in a large-scale gang takedown last year.

Already 6 feet tall at 14, Griffin loved basketball and had hoped to make the junior varsity team at Cardozo High School in Bayside as a freshman, his coach Ron Naclerio remembered at his funeral.

Recalled Naclerio: “He had that Magic Johnson smile and he always had respect for everyone.”