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Valley Stream man arraigned on murder charges from April shooting in Brooklyn

A Valley Stream man charged with murder in the shooting deaths of two men at a Brooklyn wake in April was held without bail Sunday, officials said.

Pierre Celestine, 35, of 1276 Barry Dr. South, was arrested Friday night and charged with two counts of murder and two counts of possession of a gun in the April 27 shooting of Sharieff Clayton, 40, of the Bronx, and Ronald Murphy, 44, of Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. Police said the men were slain about 8:30 p.m. in front of Emmanuel Church of God in East Flatbush.

Four other people, including Murphy's 38-year-old wife, were also injured in the shooting.

Investigators linked the shooting to a gang rivalry. The wake was being held for Jose Luis Robles, 38, who died of natural causes, but may have been affiliated with the Bloods street gang, police said.

According to police, Clayton had argued with another man at the wake about a decades-old crime and Clayton punched the man in the face. The man returned later that night with two other men who opened fire at people at the wake from a car. Police did not detail Celestine's involvement in the fight.

Celestine was arraigned Friday in Kings County criminal court and his next court date was set for Wednesday.

New York court records show no criminal history for Celestine.

According to court papers provided Sunday by the Brooklyn district attorney's office, an "informant" saw "the defendant and the two other individuals each display handguns in their hands, and the defendant and the individuals fired a number of shots at Sharieff Clayton and Ronald Murphy."

The papers add the cause of death for both victims was "gunshot wounds to their bodies."

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