Two Brooklyn men suspected in the fatal shooting last weekend of toddler Antiq Hennis were arrested early Friday in Pennsylvania by a team of NYPD detectives and federal marshals, officials said. The pair waived extradition and were on their way back to New York City last night.
Daquan Wright, 19, and Daquan Breland, 23, were apprehended without incident at an apartment in the city of Wilkes-Barre, about 100 miles northwest of New York City, capping an intense six-day manhunt that covered three states, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday.
Based on the statement of an eyewitness to the shooting Sunday in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, Wright allegedly passed a handgun to Breland, who then fired four shots, Kelly said. Police think Antiq's father, Anthony Hennis, was the gunman's target. The 16-month-old child, who was being pushed in a stroller on a sidewalk by Hennis, was struck once in the head and died in the hospital. Kelly said the shooter fired from the middle of the street.
Police said they think the gun used in the slaying, which hasn't been recovered, also was involved in an earlier shooting.
Asked about a possible motive in Antiq's shooting, Kelly responded: "We are still looking to determine that at this time."
A law enforcement official who didn't want to be identified said detectives are looking into information that Anthony Hennis was targeted because the assailants thought he might have been involved in a nonfatal shooting incident about a year ago. Breland was on parole for a 2009 felony assault involving a gun in upstate New York, officials said.
Through a combination of leads from people in Brownsville, police tracked Breland and Wright through Maryland and finally to the Wilkes-Barre public housing apartment of Wright's sister, Kelly said. He added that the woman also was dating Breland.
Wright's sister told police both men had left her apartment two days earlier. Detectives learned Breland and Wright were living nearby at a different apartment, Kelly said. Police knocked on the door of the second apartment and then battered open the door after the occupants refused to open it.
Breland was found on the floor of a rear bedroom while Wright was on the bed, both face down, according to Kelly.
Kelly said that the elder Hennis has not been cooperative with the police investigation into his son's death. Court records show that Hennis has a pending domestic violence case in Brooklyn criminal court. Hennis awaits an Oct. 3 court appearance, said a spokesman for the Brooklyn district attorney's office.