Monday, December 03, 2007

Two Brothers Are Shot, One of Them Fatally, Outside Bar Near Columbia Campus

N.Y. / Region

Two Brothers Are Shot, One of Them Fatally, Outside Bar Near Columbia Campus

Published: December 3, 2007

Two brothers were shot, one fatally, in an argument with other men early yesterday outside a restaurant and bar near Columbia University as the wounded man tried to shield his younger brother from gunfire, the police and the men’s mother said.
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The wounded brother, Stephone Jones, 26, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, told his mother that he believed the same bullet struck them both, tearing through his right arm before striking his brother’s head, his mother, Sharon Alexander, said.

The dead brother, Delquan Kearns, 25, was a father of three and had recently moved to Pennsylvania, where he worked in a restaurant, Ms. Alexander said.
No arrests had been reported by the police as of last night.

The shooting occurred outside Radio Perfecto, a bistro on Amsterdam Avenue near 118th Street, in Morningside Heights, where Mr. Jones had held a party attended by his brother, among others.

“They said they were happy and having a beautiful time,” said Ms. Alexander. “Everybody was having fun and dancing.”

A security guard told the police that two groups of men were arguing loudly at the bar about 3 a.m., said a lawyer for Radio Perfecto, Gary A. Jenkins.

“He approached and asked them to calm down, as they were disturbing other patrons,” Mr. Jenkins said. The men left, and moments later the guard heard gunshots, he said.

“The young man was dead, his brother had been shot in the arm, and the crowd that had been outside had dispersed,” Mr. Jenkins said. “Our security guard didn’t see the actual shooting.”

Ms. Alexander said her son Stephone, who was in stable condition at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center yesterday, told her that a stranger who had been acting aggressively had bumped into Mr. Kearns and later took a drink from his hand. When Mr. Kearns asked for it back, the stranger said, “‘That’s all right. I don’t care. I make money,’” she said, quoting her son’s recollection.

Mr. Jones, trying to defuse the situation, ushered everyone outside, where the stranger pulled a gun, Ms. Alexander said. “He saw the gun, he pulled his little brother behind him, but it happened too fast,” she said. “They shot him.

“He keeps saying it’s his fault, it’s his fault, but it’s not his fault,” she said. “He feels guilty. He’s the oldest one; it should have been him.”

Mr. Jenkins said the men were not regulars at Radio Perfecto, just blocks from the Columbia campus. “We believe these individuals were not affiliated with Columbia in any way, but were simply patrons from around the five boroughs,” he said.

Daryl Khan contributed reporting.

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