America

Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Fatal Shooting of 14-Year-Old

A man was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Wednesday for the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old Queens boy, whom he mistook for a rival gang member, the authorities said.

The teenager, Aamir Griffin, was playing basketball at the playground at Baisley Park Houses, the complex where he lived in Jamaica, Queens, on an October night in 2019 when the man, Sean Brown, then 16, shot at him from about 100 yards away.

Aamir, who the authorities said was not involved in any gang activities, was struck in the upper chest; the bullet pierced both of his lungs, and he later died at a hospital.

Mr. Brown, 21, pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter in the first degree, as well as to conspiracy and criminal possession of a weapon.

“Aamir Griffin’s killer has been brought to justice, but we know the heartache continues for his loved ones,” said Melinda Katz, the Queens district attorney, in a statement. “No child should feel unsafe going to a park, and no parent should ever have to bury a child.”

Aamir’s killing came at a time when crime was near an all-time low in New York City, months before the start of the coronavirus pandemic and the rise in gun violence that followed. The rates of shootings and murders in the city fell from the pandemic peak last year, a trend seen in other cities like Detroit and Los Angeles.

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