Gang shootout led to York City homicide
A York City man with Jordan Breeland when Breeland was gunned down during a gang-related drive-by shooting testified he doesn't "call the cops" and couldn't identify the car that fired on them or the people inside it.
Timiere Crosby, 22, told jurors he was with Breeland, Davon "YB" Brown and Anthony "Ant" Gilbert on Oct. 15, 2013, when gunfire erupted in the 200 or 300 block of West Gay Avenue.
Breeland, 21, was fatally shot in the chest while sitting in an SUV driven by Brown, who suffered a gunshot wound to the hand, York City Police have said. Breeland was pronounced dead in the 100 block of Jefferson Avenue shortly after 10:30 p.m., where Brown had driven after gunfire.
Police have said the shooting was part of an ongoing beef between members of the Parkway and Southside gangs.
On trial are Elvin Mateo Jr., 22, and Durell Cotton Jr., 20, both charged with first-degree murder. They are affiliated with the city's Southside and hung out on Liberty Court, selling drugs, according to testimony.
Their friend, Raymond Bruno-Carrasquillo, testified they were at war with Parkway and had an order from Mateo to shoot at any Parkway associates they saw.
Shootout: Police allege Cotton drove up to the parked gold SUV that Brown was driving and that Mateo opened fire on it. Bruno-Carrasquillo testified Wednesday that both Cotton and Mateo confessed to him and that Mateo bragged about committing the homicide.
Chief deputy prosecutor David Sunday confirmed that prosecution testimony during trial indicated someone in the car Brown was driving fired back at the car holding Mateo and Cotton.
Crosby told jurors he and Gilbert were outside the car, with Crosby leaning into the back and looking for his keys, when he heard gunshots. He said he didn't know who fired first, and said no one got out of either vehicle.
He said he and Gilbert took off and ran into the nearby home of an acquaintance.
"We was both shocked — like, 'What the hell happened?'" Crosby testified. He said they initially were unaware Breeland had been killed.
'Just tell the truth': Crosby confirmed he didn't call 911, and at first said he didn't know why he didn't.
Sunday then challenged his own witness: "Just tell the truth," the prosecutor said
"I don't call the cops," Crosby admitted.
Mateo and Cotton are also charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault in Brown's shooting.
According to Wednesday's testimony from Bruno-Carrasquillo, in the days before Breeland's homicide, Mateo and Cotton took a gun from Parkway associate Shy McDowell. He told jurors that caused several Parkway members to retaliate by shooting up vehicles and a home on Liberty Court.
"It was a beef from there on," Bruno-Carrasquillo told jurors. "War."
The Parkway and Southside gangs have clashed violently for decades, according to officials, including a 2009 drive-by shooting in which 9-year-old Ciara "CeCe" Savage of Lancaster was fatally shot by a stray bullet while playing on a sidewalk in Southside territory.
Breeland previously survived a gang-related shooting, police said. He was 18 years old when he was shot in the stomach Sept. 13, 2011, outside the York Fair.
Prosecution rests: Sunday and senior deputy prosecutor Sarah Buhite rested the prosecution's case against Cotton and Mateo on Thursday afternoon.
Presiding Common Pleas Judge Maria Musti Cook then closed the courtroom to the public while attorneys discussed procedural matters. It is not common for that to happen in York County murder trials.
A York Dispatch reporter was twice asked to leave the courtroom and did so under protest.
Trial is expected to resume Friday morning.
Other murder charges: Cotton also is charged in a double homicide that happened in York City. That case has not yet gone to trial.
He's accused in the June 12 shooting deaths of brothers Angel Berrios, 21, and Abdiel "Tito" Vazquez-Soto, 19.
Bruno-Carrasquillo has previously testified that he was driving around with Cotton in the passenger seat when they pulled up to a vehicle carrying the brothers. He maintains Cotton opened the car door and fired repeatedly at the brothers about 10:15 p.m. at the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Juniper Street.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.