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Convicted Killer, Fellow Ex-Con Charged With Gunning Down Paterson Man, Wounding Companion

David Armfield, Shaquan Winstead, Stephanie French
David Armfield, Shaquan Winstead, Stephanie French Photo Credit: PASSAIC COUNTY PROSECUTOR

A man who was killed and a woman who was with him were shot by two Paterson ex-cons, one of whom recently served nearly a decade for slaying an aspiring rapper and the other who was tracked down in Virginia, authorities announced.

Shaquan Winstead, 28, and David “Scrappy” Armfield, 31, are both charged with first-degree murder in the Oct. 1 shooting death of Briheem Nero, 42, of Paterson at what may well be the city’s deadliest street corner.

An unidentified 49-year-old woman who was with Nero was shot in the arm, for which Winstead and Armfield are charged with attempted murder.

They’re also charged with weapons offenses that include possessing firearms as convicted felons.

Winstead was captured in Virginia on Tuesday, Jan. 10, and is being held pending extradition to New Jersey.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Armfield was picked up the very next day, along with Stephanie French, 26, of Totowa (in photos above), who authorities said tried to cover up his crimes.

Armfield, it turns out, was on parole, having been released from state prison last May after what had been back-to-back stretches that totaled nearly 10 years.

He and a co-defendant had been convicted in the 2011 Memorial Day weekend beating death of rapper Kamau "Legacy" Keita of Trenton in Seaside Park.

Both stomped and kicked Keita at the Jersey Shore town’s north end, continuing even after he lost consciousness, prosecutors said at the time.

Undercover detectives found Keita, 26, who was airlifted to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township. He never regained consciousness and eventually succumbed to blunt-force trauma.

Police who responded three months ago to a shots-fired report near the intersection of Van Houten and Summer streets right behind the Paterson public library found blood, numerous shell casings and vehicles riddled with bullets -- but no victims.

That’s because Nero and the woman who was also shot had been taken to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in a civilian’s vehicle.

Nero was pronounced dead soon after, authorities said.

Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Acting Paterson Police Chief Bert Ribeiro announced the arrests on Friday, Jan. 13. They didn’t discuss a possible motive.

SEE: Deadliest Street Corner In Paterson? One Killed, One Wounded In Hail Of Gunfire

The 4th Ward intersection -- anchored on the southeast corner by Familiar Gonzalez Grocery Store -- has become known for drugs and death.

A little over two years ago, a 26-year-old city man was killed and a 28-year-old companion wounded in an 8 p.m. shooting at Van Houten and Summer.

SEE: Paterson Man, 26, Slain In Street Shooting

Then, on Thanksgiving Eve 2020, a 58-year-old woman was shot dead in the chest near the same corner.

SEE: Another Victim Gunned Down At Deadly Paterson Street Corner As Citywide Killings Continue

French is charged with hindering apprehension. She was released pending a first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Paterson. Both men, meanwhile, are expected to remain in custody indefinitely.

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