Nearly three dozen Brooklyn gang members from rival factions who apparently hated each other to such an extent that they attempted to attack one another in central booking are charged in a major gun takedown announced Tuesday.
NYPD top cop Keechant Sewell joined Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez Tuesday to announce a major gang takedown in the borough resulting from Operation Close Quarters, a law enforcement sweep that included the confiscation of numerous handguns on display at the Brooklyn DA’s office on Nov. 15.
The NYPD arrested some 32 gang members from rival factions of both the Wooo (13 members) and Choo (19 members) crews. Gonzalez said they allegedly unleashed bloody chaos these gang members have unleashed over the course of the investigation.
According to Gonzalez, victims caught in the crossfire between shootouts have been as old as 62 years of age to as young as 3 years old. The harsh reality of this hit home when officials showed images of a bloody t-shirt left behind after a toddler was shot in the shoulder.
The Wooo and Choo gang members are rivals with hate each other with a passionate intensity, law enforcement sources said — so much so that members of the rival factions tried to assault each other while they were being held following their arrests for processing.
“Today we are announcing the indictment of 32alleged gang members from two rival gangs that are responsible for the violence in and around Brownsville,” Gonzalez said. “Their senseless and indiscriminate gun violence upended the sense of safety for many residents and wounded a number of innocent bystanders, including a 3-year-old girl who was leaving her daycare center. We will never allow this type of criminal activity to go unimpeded and will work closely with the NYPD to build strong cases that will ensure that these alleged offenders are held accountable, and our communities are kept safe – like we’ve done in this case.”
Gonzalez cited numerous occasions on which local Brooklynites were sent fleeing for their lives as a result of what he described as a relentless effort from both gangs to kill one another that is only fueled by drill rap and other social media posts that disrespect one another.
According to Gonzalez, members of both gangs also reside in close proximity to one another in neighboring Brownsville housing complexes, leading to unrelenting mayhem.
The investigation and subsequent takedown were handled by the NYPD Gun Violence Suppression Division and began in 2020. During this time, the police closely monitored individuals, even revealing that law enforcement attempted to offer young members a warning to leave that sort of life behind.
According to the NYPD, more than 25 different firearms were used in the shootings and 27 firearms were recovered during the course of the investigation. In addition, 30 of the 32 individuals have already been arrested for gun violence.
“Among the highest priorities for the NYPD and our law enforcement partners is focusing our resources on the relatively few people responsible for the majority of the crime and violence in New York City. Today’s charges highlight our commitment to identifying, arresting, and prosecuting anyone who takes part in illegal gang activities,” Sewell said.
There are 106 counts in the indictments against the 32 defendants, who were arraigned by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on charges of second and fourth-degree conspiracy, second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, attempted first degree assault, second-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and first-degree reckless endangerment.
The Commanding Officer of the Gun Violence Suppression Division, Jason Savino, called those taken off the street the “worst of the absolute worst” while also offering a stark warning to any would-be shooters.
“To our gangbangers out there, if you are the worst of the worst, if you recklessly engage in gun violence and endanger our great communities, if you are one of those few individuals that make the daily life of our people dangerous and uncomfortable, do the right thing and change now or we will see you soon,” Savino said.