Community Mourns Tayshana Murphy, H.S. Hoops Star Killed In Harlem

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Family and friends are mourning the death of a high school basketball star who was shot and killed in Harlem.

Witnesses said 18-year-old Tayshana Murphy was trying to outrun the shooter in a hallway on the fourth floor of her building when she was killed. Police said the shooting may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Police said they found Murphy with a gunshot wound to the head around 4:14 a.m. Sunday at the Grant Houses. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Candles and heartfelt messages are now part of a makeshift memorial outside the building.

On Monday night there was a celebration of life in front of the shrine, featuring words of remembrance and the picture of Murphy just as her friends knew her — smiling and happy.

“Best friend, best friend, my everything, my everything. We was just talking,” friend Sharay Harris told CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

“It’s horrible. That was an 18-year-old girl who had a future. It’s horrible, I feel sorry,” added friend Jasmine Fletcher.

Community activists are outraged as another memorial has been set up for a teen taken by gun violence, at the hands of a shooter, who still hasn’t been caught. The NYPD told 1010 WINS they are not questioning anyone in connection with the shooting and are still seeking witnesses.

“I know that they’re cowering right now in some adult’s house, cowering right now in some adult’s house, and that needs to stop. They need to be flushed out,” Harlem activist Rev. Vernon Williams said.

Witnesses said Murphy went outside to check on her brother and that there might have been a fight, but witnesses claim she was not involved. CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano spoke to Murphy’s cousin, who claimed a family member witnessed the shooting.

“He heard her say ‘I don’t have nothing to do with this, I’m not part of that’ and they was like ‘we don’t care.’ They shot her three times,” the cousin said.

“This might be one loss, but I mean, it’s a loss for a whole another generation — it’s affecting a lot of people,” Taylon Murphy, the victim’s father, told Mercogliano. “I mean she was just a beautiful person.”

1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan Speaks With Murphy’s Coach

She was a senior at Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers. Murphy, known as “chicken” at home and on the court, was also considered one of the top girls basketball players in the city and was ranked as the 16th best point guard in the nation for her class by ESPN.

“She was very much liked by the other players on the team and the other students in the school and she was very much respected. She was a leader,” said her coach Ed Grezinsky. “Very senseless because she had everything to live for. She was a great kid.”

Grezinsky said she already had offers from colleges around the country that were interested in her. Her dream was to go to college, get into the WNBA and get her mother out of the projects.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott visited the school on Monday. A spokeswoman for Walcott said grief counselors were also at the school.

“He took something away from us that was so valuable, so precious and she didn’t even have anything to do with anything,” Murphy’s father said. “It was just senseless.”

bball1 Community Mourns Tayshana Murphy, H.S. Hoops Star Killed In Harlem

A makeshift memorial for 18-year-old Tayshana Murphy - Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 (credit: CBS 2)

Please share your thoughts below…







  • white15

    Crazy how some of you people are really sitting here judging the parent of this child like your kids wont go to parties and stay out late as well! This girl was a basketball player and a star at that what happened to having sympathy and showing respect! its not even about race and ethnic background its more so about cracking down on things as a nation and coming as one. which will never happen! RIP Tayshana…gone but never forgotten.

  • Maasai kushim

    Once again it’s really sad how another young African American life is lost due to senseless violence. Our youth are lost and confused bombarded by violence and negativity. Everything starts at home. African people must embrace what we once had and that was unity, cooperation, and morality. Until we as a people understand and teach to know and love thy self, we will continue to hate one another and harm one another. When you hate yourself and have a deep rooted low self esteem, you will then turn and hurt your fellow African neighbor! These problems we as a people suffer from prove that yes we still have the mental shackles on our minds! Sad! Slavery still runs strong on a once proud people! My heart and prayers are with family.

  • Surfin Bird

    did the police ever say what party she was coming from

  • Honesty is the best policy

    Waste of a story and my time for reading and commenting on it.

  • Charles F. Bolden, Jr.

    Please have your kids on Mars so we all don’t have to be innocent bystanders, dodging bullets and being prisoners in our own homes. And where is Charles F. Bolden, Jr. when this stuff happens??!

    • Very conservative

      Or Charles Barron.

  • Abcde

    Just blame the white man as it is always his fault (though less than half the time it in actuality isn’t).

  • Warren Dandridge

    This is another example of a senseless tragedy/murder of an18-year-old Tayshana Murphy. My son was also a victim of gun fire in Harlem, on June 23, 2007. He was murdered at 26 years old. This beautiful young lady had all the makings of great human being, and so did my son. The political big wigs told me four years ago they were getting guns off the streets of New York, that’s when my son was murdered. What are the political big wigs actually doing about guns in and around this great City; absolutely nothing!

    • Nita

      So sorry for your lost.

    • Nita

      Wow is this your best? So I guess it was all great with Bush? Also what does this have to do with the death of this beautiful young lady? You need to shut the hell up and learn to respect. I hope you don’t have any kids. Remember white kids also are killed for crazy reasons and when we read about them we pray for them just as we would one of our own. Oh yea Mr. President Barack Obama is more of a human then you will ever be. Peace Dummy

  • Johnny Handsome

    In a case like this, the father should be allowed to pull the trigger on the one who killed his daughter.

  • Johnny Handsome

    So her being at a party at Midnight is reason for here to be suspect? They cops found here at 4:14. She wasn’t at the party at that time fools.

  • Surfin Bird

    high school senior coming from a party at 414am. bad parenting

    • Johnny Handsome

      Idiot… the cops found the body at 4:14 am. Meaning, she was killed about 11:30 and the NYPD being what they are, found the body 5 hours later.

  • ace11

    Tragic….but in the Ghetto these things always do occur

    thugs have no regard for human life

    it is fishy though she was out at 4:14 am

  • MikeD

    RIP Precious Child!

  • bigdog

    I will ask again – what was an 18 year old high school stdent doing out at 4:00 am? Were her parents (did she have any?) concerned about her whereabouts and well bring? Parents – its too late to weep and wail after your child/grandchild has been killed. Impose limits on them while they are alive.

    There should be a curfew in NYC. Too many teens and younger kids are getting shot in the early morning hours, who have no legitimate reason to be out and about at such hours.

    • Johnny Handsome

      Never broke curfew bigdog? It happens. Can’t tell an 18 year old what to do. Rather judgmental for someone who wasn’t there aren’t you?

    • Robert

      I feel in my heart for the family and also question why such a talented young lady would be out at 4 am.

  • jackie

    that’s so true. it’s sad that no one is willing to come forward and talk…but that is usually the case in these types of situation.. really, really sad! Someone SHOULD come forward so her death doesn’t become another statistic! but i guess we’ll see what happens…I do hope the person who did this, does get caught…

  • jackie

    @AL, This was no ‘drug deal gone bad’…she was actually coming home from a friend’s party and was mistaken for someone else, who was wearing the same colors as her. Please don’t be so quick to judge without knowing the facts. This girl was a star basketball player and was being scouted by colleges because she was one of the best female basketball players in the COUNTRY!!! She was no drug dealer…Everyone needs to stop judging and assuming. A young woman is gone, and her family and friends are grieving tremendously…. try and be just a little respectful. This girl was my little sister’s friend. R.I.P. ‘Chicken’….and may you continue to shine in Heaven!

    • Jade

      My condolences to the family…however I am puzzled how there are witnesses to the fact that she was chased into her building and gunned down; that it was a case of mistaken identity( she was mistaken for someone wearing the same colors) yet there is not ONE single description of the murderer…it doesn’t appear to be any leads and there are no suspects. Rather than giving interviews about how great she was people should be coming forward with information so that she doesn’t just become another unsolved murder statistic from the hood.

      • Johnny Handsome

        I totally agree with you Jade. If anyone knows who did this, come forward and tell the cops. The person who did this deserves no loyalty from you. Only a puck as& coward would shoot another person and only a yellow bellied puck coward would shoot a girl. If you know something and won’t come forward with the information, this will happen to you. Snitch your butt off. Put this shooter away for life. Yell it to heaven who did it. He/she wasn’t too concerned when they pulled the trigger.

  • Kelly Harp

    May her young soul rest in peace. I have 4 men and 1 beautiful daughter, my heart aches for this mother. It’s extremely difficult raising children, you have to put the right foot forward and become the disciplinarian, the teacher, the nurse, the advocate and most of all….THE PARENT/S THAT SHOW LOVE, CARE AND DETERMINATION. It becomes your job right after birth to protect your child, enforce respect, integrity, intelligence and future knowledge of who to socialize with and who to avoid. The company you keep or hang-out with will determine the education or negative obstacles that you risk.
    Parents, please teach your children to obtain a good education, love and respect for themselves and others and shy away from the negative elements.
    May this young girl, be a learning experience for other children that are not focusing on a good life, and how life should not end at 18 to street violence.

  • AL

    “4:14 a.m. Sunday at the Grant Houses”????? Sounds like another drug deal gone bad!

  • Surfin Bird

    414am outside?

    • Jeff

      …would you feel better if it was 4:14 p.m.?

      • Surfin Bird Has A Point

        Would you feel better is you were straight?

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