OCEANSIDE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Several teenage suspects went before a judge Saturday over the stabbing death of a Long Island high school student.
Five suspects are now in police custody, accused in the death of 16-year-old Khaseen Morris: 19-year-old Haakim Mechan, 18-year-old Marquis Stephens Jr., 18-year-old Javonte Neals, 17-year-old Taj Woodruff and 17-year-old Sean Merritt.
Two 16-year-old boys have also been arrested in the case. Their identities are not being released because they are minors.
All seven individuals are charged with gang assault.
On Sept. 18, 18-year-old Tyler Flach was taken into custody. Nassau County Police say he’s the one who plunged a knife into Morris’ chest, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reports.
“There is certainly evidence on social media that tends to suggest that that group is involved with street gang violence. There are gang signs. There is hair that is dyed blood orange or red,” defense attorney Edward Sapone said.
Cell phone video shows the brutal after-school attack on Morris and another teen in the parking lot of an Oceanside strip mall.
Morris was stabbed multiple times in the chest and died hours later at a hospital.
A 17-year-old suffered a head injury and a broken arm after being punched and kicked.
“People videotaping is a disgrace, how people stood around and videotaped and did not help,” Oceanside High School parent Domenica Califano said.
The confrontation, which involved as many as 50 teens, was believed to be about a fight over a girl. Detectives say Flach was friends with that girl’s ex-boyfriend and Morris was targeted because he was friends with her.
A wake for Morris began at 10 a.m. Saturday, right around the same time some of those accused of being involved in his death appeared before a judge.