New York City’s West Indian Festival J’Ouvert is a legendary staple in Brooklyn during the Labor Day weekend, but violence continues to tarnish the popular event.
Last year, Carey Gabay, an aide to Gov. Cuomo, was fatally shot at the predawn celebration. This year, two people were killed at New York City’s West Indian Festival J’Ouvert.
Details are few about Tyreke Borel, who was shot by a stray bullet, but Tiarah Poyau, a 22-year-old grad student, was gunned down early Monday after telling a man to stop grinding against her, police say. Police sources say that Poyau was shot at close range above her right eye while at the overnight celebration with three friends at 4:15 a.m. in the city’s Crown Heights, Brooklyn community.
Reginald Moise, 20, was taken into custody in connection with her death after he allegedly made statements to two people who implicated him in the death. Authorities say he was driving drunk and had a Caribbean flag wrapped around a bloodied hand when he was arrested on Tuesday morning. Moise, who has five prior sealed arrests, allegedly called a friend after the shooting and asked her, “Would you mind if I put my gun into your apartment?” He reportedly told another friend, “I think I shot somebody on the parade route. I didn’t know the gun was loaded.”
Police said they discovered the gun that killed Poyau at Moise’s girlfriend’s apartment, with tests confirming it matched a shell casing found at the crime scene. NYPD Chief Patrick Conry said investigators believe Poyau, a St. John’s University student pursuing a dual degree, was not the intended target. Her friends all gave statements to detectives and did not see the shooter.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said that “all options are on the table” when answering questions concerning the future of J’Ouvert. This incident cemented the J’Ouvert parade’s reputation for violence; it might be canceled following the two tragic deaths.
City Councilman Brad Lander said, “It’s pretty clear that big changes are needed. I’m open to canceling it next year.”