The building that houses Urban Dove Charter School in 2019. (Image: Liena Zagare/Bklyner)
Two teenagers have been indicted in the investigation of a fatal shooting outside a Midwood charter school in April, the Brooklyn District Attorney announced today.
Malachi Simms, 15, and Quran Smith, 16, both from Flatbush, were charged today with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Devonte Lewis outside Urban Dove Charter School on April 29th, DA Eric Gonzalez's office said.
Simms and Smith allegedly shot Lewis around 2:40 p.m that day, as he was leaving Urban Dove on East 21st Street near Avenue K. Surveillance video from outside the school allegedly shows the two firing at Lewis multiple times, including after Lewis fell to the ground, before fleeing on foot.
Lewis, a first-year Urban Dove student who had recently started a maintenance job with the New York City Housing Authority, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and was taken to Kings County Hospital, where he died.
Police recovered .380 and 9mm shell casings and one live 9mm round at the scene of the shooting, Gonzalez's office said. A loaded .380 pistol allegedly fell out of Smith’s pants when he was arrested on May 19th.
“This is a tragic and shocking case in which the defendants – just 15 and 16 years old – allegedly took the life of a 17-year-old student, brazenly shooting him in the middle of the day outside of a high school," Gonzalez said in a statement announcing the indictments. "We will never accept this type of cold-blooded un violence on the streets of Brooklyn and will now seek justice for this young victim whose life was senselessly cut short.”
Simms and Smith were arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Craig Walker. The two were held without bail and ordered to return to court on August 11th. Smith faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count; Simms, because he is younger, faces up to 15 years to life if convicted.
Urban Dove, which serves largely of older students of color that have struggled in traditional schools, opened on the campus of the East Midwood Jewish Center in 2019. Though EJMC’s board voted overwhelmingly in favor of leasing space to Urban Dove, the move generated intense controversy amongst many area residents, who wanted the space filled by a religious school.