Feud between E. Side housing projects is blamed for a murder

A photo-collage memorial of Avenue D shooting victim Malik Campbell. Photo By Sarah Ferguson

BY SARAH FERGUSON | Police have arrested the alleged shooter who gunned down a 23-year-old man in broad daylight on Avenue D and Eighth St. last Fri., Nov. 3.

Malik Campbell was shot in the head around 4 p.m. outside 118 Avenue D in the Jacob Riis Houses, a New York City Housing Authority public-housing complex, following an argument with two or three assailants, who fled the scene, police said.

Campbell was taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he died in surgery.

“I heard three gunshots and I came out and seen him lying on the sidewalk,” said a man who called himself Outlaw who lives at the Housing Works AIDS hospice on the corner of Ninth St. and Avenue D.

Helicopters hovered over the area for more than an hour and police were posted on neighboring rooftops as they searched for the shooter.

Cops collared Rashawn Taylor, 18, a resident of 54 Catherine St. in the Smith Houses NYCHA development, the following day. He is charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

“Everyone is just sick about it,” said the victim’s grandmother Irma Campbell, who said she helped raise Malik and his identical twin brother, Eli, in Haven Plaza, a block of subsidized housing located off Avenue C at 12th St.

Malik grew up in Haven Plaza with his parents and attended the Earth School on Avenue B and East Side Community High School on E. 12th St.

His grandmother described him as a “good kid, very polite and caring,” though she conceded he had run afoul of the law recently. At the time of the shooting, he was on probation for a low-level drug offense — “pot and pills,” she said.

A shrine outside the front door at 3 Haven Plaza included dozens of candles and photographs showing Malik with his brother in their younger years, holding puppies and diplomas. Subsequent pictures show Malik throwing what appear to be gang signs.

Though police declined to specify a motive for the crime, a super who works in a nearby building blamed the shooting on rivalries between groups of young men living in different public-housing developments along the East River.

Last month, a man was shot and seriously wounded while sitting on a bicycle on Avenue C and 11th St., and at least two other men were shot in nearby NYCHA complexes last year.

“This has got to stop. There’s too many young people losing their lives today,” said Irma Campbell. “The drugs and guns down here are so bad now.”