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Arrest made in July 4 fatal shooting at North Massapequa party, Nassau police say

According to Nassau County police, Thomas Massenburg, 20, of

According to Nassau County police, Thomas Massenburg, 20, of Jamaica, Queens, has been charged with shooting and killing a 21-year-old Hempstead man at a Fourth of July party in North Massapequa last year following a dispute between two factions over a woman. Newsday's Steve Langford reports. Credit: Newsday; Photo Credit: Paul Mazza

A Queens resident has been charged with shooting and killing a 21-year-old Hempstead man at a Fourth of July party in North Massapequa last year following a dispute between two factions over a woman, Nassau County police said.

Thomas Massenburg, 20, of Jamaica, was arrested Wednesday in Brooklyn and charged with the second-degree murder of Rashawn Cummings and the second-degree attempted murder of a 20-year-old Uniondale man.

Massenburg was arraigned in District Court in Hempstead on Thursday where he was held without bail.

His head down, Massenburg declined to answer questions from reporters Thursday as he was lead into Nassau police headquarters.

Massenburg's defense attorney, Mitchell Elman of Garden City, declined to comment.

The dispute erupted shortly after 11 p.m. last Independence Day at a large house party on West Drive, said Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, commanding officer of the Nassau police Homicide Squad.

Two factions got into a verbal dispute about a female that escalated to gunfire, he said. Massenburg, who was also shot during the party, allegedly opened fire, killing Cummings and injuring the second victim, Fitzpatrick said.

"There was a heated dispute over this female," Fitzpatrick said. "Then it's 'What group are you with? I am with this group.' Then the guns came out and the shots started firing."

Nassau police said they interviewed several witnesses from the party and sifted through cellphone videos during the investigation. Several new witnesses, Fitzpatrick said, recently came forward leading to Massenburg's arrest.

Massenburg was arrested in Brooklyn by the NYPD on unrelated charges of criminal possession of stolen property. He was released and immediately detained by Nassau police on the homicide charge.

He has previous arrests for criminal possession of a weapon, forgery and marijuana possession, Fitzpatrick said.

Massenburg is due back in court on Monday.

With Joan Gralla

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