First Posted: 9/6/2013
WILKES-BARRE — Two men wanted for questioning in the shooting death of Brooklyn, N.Y., toddler were arrested Friday morning in the Sherman Hills apartment building off Coal Street where two girls were struck by gunfire two weeks ago.
Daquan Breland, 23, and Daquan Wright, 19, were taken into custody in apartment 619 of Building 328 on Parkview Circle.
The girls, ages 2 and 5, were injured in a shooting in apartment 614 the morning of Aug.24.
The two men, both of Brooklyn, were held briefly on fugitive from justice charges and $1 million bail each, waived extradition and were sent back to King’s County, N.Y., with New York Police Department detectives investigating the Sept. 1 shooting death 16-month-old Antiq Hennis.
Authorities said the boy’s father, Anthony Hennis, was pushing the child in a stroller across a street in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn around 7:20 p.m. Sunday when multiple shots were fired. The boy was struck on the left side of his face and later pronounced dead at Brookdale University Hospital. Investigators are looking into whether the shooting was gang-related.
The arrests drew further attention to the Sherman Hills complex. In recent months it has been the scene of shootings, robberies and assaults and the focus of meetings between federal and city officials and management of the complex where the majority of the more than 300 tenants receive government subsidies for rent.
The management of the privately owned complex recently notified residents of new regulations regarding visitors and parking, and warned that violators could face eviction. As of Oct. 1 visitors 16 and older must register with the office regardless of their length of stay and must produce a valid identification to be photocopied.
The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said an “extensive investigation” spanning three states led police to Sherman Hills where Wright’s sister, who is Breland’s girlfriend, lives. The woman, who was not identified, told investigators that the two men left her home earlier in the week, but police later learned that Breland and Wright might be at another unit in the apartment complex, the newspaper reported.
Arrest papers filed by Wilkes-Barre police said officers were told the men could be located in an apartment at the complex. Police went there and made contact with a woman who provided updated information about the whereabouts of the men.
U.S. Marshal Martin Pane of the U.S. Middle District in Scranton said his office received a tip from the Marshals Service in New York Friday morning about the suspects’ location. Members of the Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force and the New York and New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force went to the apartment complex and surrounded the building around 6 a.m., he said.
Upon arrival one man was seen in the window and attempted to flee but was caught, Pane said. Task force members breached the door and took Breland and Wright into custody without resistance. There were no injuries, Pane said, adding “There was ample law enforcement present to effect an arrest.”
The Middle District task force is made up of the state police, state parole, the Wilkes-Barre Police Department, Scranton Police Department and the Lackawanna County Sheriff’s Department.
The woman whom the apartment was registered to was questioned, Pane said.
“The U.S. Marshals Service is pleased to apprehend these two individuals who were sought by New York authorities related to this tragic event,” Pane said.
Taken to court
Breland and Wright said little at their court appearances Friday afternoon. Both were handcuffed and seated apart from one another while awaiting arraignment on the fugitive charges by Senior District Judge Andrew Barilla Jr.
He set bail at $1 million each before they were taken across town to the Luzerne County Courthouse to the courtroom of Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. During questioning from the judge, Breland and Wright confirmed they voluntarily waived their right to fight extradition to New York state.
Wright was wanted on a charge of criminal possession of a weapon. Breland, the alleged shooter, was wanted on a parole violation.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Commissioner Kelly said at least one witness “positively identified” Breland as the alleged shooter. The witness told investigators that Wright handed Breland the gun just before the shooting, the paper reported.
Kelly said Breland and Wright are known to Anthony Hennis, who has refused to cooperate in the investigation, the newspaper reported. Kelly said Wright’s brother was shot two years ago and police are looking into whether that is connected to the shooting that killed the boy, the newspaper reported.