Anthony Alexander [photo] is one of the two men accused killing two moms in their 20s after opening fire on a group of people in a Brooklyn housing project courtyard, in July
Two men accused of fleeing to South Carolina after firing the stray bullets that killed a pair of young moms in a Brooklyn housing project courtyard four months ago have been ordered held without bail.
Nazir Saunders, 20, of Harlem, and Anthony Alexander, 18, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, were arrested on Oct 31, in E. Rock Hill, South Carolina, more than 660 miles away from the crime scene, by the NYPD and the U.S. Marshals.
They were extradited back to New York and arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court Thursday night.
Chynna Battle [left], and Shaqwanda Staley [right], were killed in the July 12 shooting
Saunders and Alexander are accused of blasting nine bullets into 20 people socializing in the Stuyvesant Gardens courtyard on Gates Ave. about 9:30 p.m. on July 12.
Three bullets ripped into Shaqwanda Staley’s back. The 29-year-old left behind a 9-year-old daughter.
Chynna Battle, a hostess at an Applebee’s on Fulton St. in Brooklyn, was found facedown on a bench with a gunshot wound to the head, police sources said. Battle, 21, who had a 3-year-old daughter. The victims were not the intended targets, police said.
Alexander and Sanders allegedly, were trying to kill a rival gang member when they opened fire in the courtyard of the Stuyvesant Gardens housing project on Gates Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant about 9:30 p.m., police said.
One witness told cops she saw two men from the Roosevelt Houses walk into the courtyard on Gates Ave. before one of them pulled out a gun and sprayed bullets into the crowd, sources said.
The group of roughly 20 people had been drinking, playing cards and smoking out of a hookah, sources said.
Cops found six .45-caliber shell casings and three .380 shell casings at the scene, indicating two shooters. A total of nine shots were fired into the crowd at about 9:30 p.m., sources said.
Alexander, wielding a .380-caliber gun, fired twice, according to cops. Sanders fired six times with a .45-caliber gun.
One of the alleged killers, Nazir Sanders is walked by detectives from the 81st Precinct on Thursday night. He was caught in South Carolina after four months on the run
NYPD officers at the crime scene after the shooting at the Stuyvesant Gardens courtyard, Brooklyn on July 12
“These defendants displayed an utter and complete disregard for human lives when they allegedly shot up a courtyard that was crowded with people,” Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said.
“Predictably, they struck two innocent bystanders, young women who left behind daughters, friends and loved ones.”
Saunders and Alexander are charged with murder and gun possession.
Both were ordered held without bail and are due to return to court Wednesday. They face up to 50 years to life in prison.