Persistent detective work and tips from the public led to the arrest of a 20-year-old Brooklyn man on a murder charge stemming from a July mass shooting at a community party in Brownsville, officials said Thursday.
Kyle Williams, who police said confessed to the fatal shooting of another Brooklyn man July 27 during a wild 15-shot fusillade between two rival gang factions at the "Old Timers" gathering, faces one count of second-degree murder, attempted murder and other offenses.
Twelve people were shot at the party and one of the victims, Jason Pagan, 38, died, police said. The Brownsville party is an annual event and draws people back who have moved away.
The break in the case occurred after the NYPD released videos Oct. 2 from the vicinity of the party, showing two women who later gave police leads that helped them identify Williams as a key suspect, said Deputy Chief Michael Kemper, head of the Detective Borough Brooklyn North command.
Kemper said news media publicity after the videos' release was crucial in getting the public to come forward with tips that led to the women being identified. Members of the Joint Firearms Task Force, comprised of NYPD officers and federal agents, arrested Williams late Wednesday and he remained in custody Thursday night at the NYPD's 73rd Precinct, Kemper said.
“Kyle Williams gave a full confession to his actions that night and admitted firing the gun that killed Jason Pagan,” Kemper told reporters during a briefing on the case at police headquarters in lower Manhattan.
The motive for the shooting was gang-related and the fact that it took place at the community party was pure coincidence, he said. Williams was a member of one of the rival groups and Pagan was part of another, Kemper said, adding that Pagan didn’t fire any rounds during the gunfight.
The two women who provided police with information were affiliated with members of two rival gang groups that Kemper would not identify. A law enforcement source said the gangs were affiliated with the Bloods.
Kemper said investigators recovered two firearms linked to the shooting. One, a 9 mm handgun fired a total of 10 times by Williams, was linked to Pagan’s death, according to the chief.
“We know this for a certainty, his gun is the murder weapon that killed Jason Pagan,” said Kemper, adding he believed the weapon was involved in the wounding of some of the other victims, ranging in age from 21 to 55.
The second firearm, a .40 caliber handgun, was found a week after the gunfight and had been fired five times, Kemper said. Police have a person of interest linked to the weapon who may be charged.
“Once we have established our probable cause … he is going to be charged with felony assault for these shootings,” Kemper said about the second potential suspect.