A purported street gang member in Westchester will spend decades behind bars for his role in the fatal shooting of a promising teen basketball player who was struck by an errant bullet meant for a rival.
David Hardy, age 26, of Mount Vernon, was sentenced to 31 years in prison on Tuesday, Sept. 21 for the shooting death of 13-year-old Shamoya McKenize on New Year’s Even in 2016 in Westchester.
On Dec. 31, 2016, Hardy and three other suspects who are alleged members of the Goonies gang attempted to murder a rival gang member in broad daylight by firing multiple bullets at him near the intersection of Tecumseh Avenue and Third Street in Mount Vernon.
The gang member suffered non-life-threatening injuries, but McKenzie, who was a passenger in a passing car, was struck in the head and killed.
Hardy pleaded guilty in September last year to one count of using a firearm in connection with the murder of McKenzie in aid of racketeering and one count of using a firearm in connection with an assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering for committing a separate shooting in furtherance of the Goonies.
The three other suspects pleaded guilty to racketeering, weapons, and conspiracy charges. Hardy had faced a minimum of 15 years to a max term of life in prison.
"Today’s sentencing by a federal judge of David Hardy, whose reckless disregard for human life caused the senseless death of an innocent 13-year-old girl, Shamoya McKenzie, closes a long and brutal chapter for Shamoya’s mother, family, friends, and community," Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah said.
"I am so proud of the collaborative work of the prosecutors and investigators of the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, together with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, the FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, the Mount Vernon Police Department, and other law enforcement partners, in obtaining some measure of justice for Shamoya.
"It has been my honor and privilege to get to know Shamoya’s mother and those who knew her, first as a federal prosecutor and now as District Attorney. Shamoya’s untimely death, thanks to the Shamoya McKenzie Foundation, Moms Demand Action, and so many others, has been a unifying force to rid our streets of gun and gang violence. We will continue to fight for justice in her honor."
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