Alleged gang members charged in drive-by that wounded child

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Three alleged gang members were charged in a drive-by shooting that left a 12-year-old wounded last week, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Marc Taylor, Jashawn Tate and Damari Blackwell, all 18 and from Jersey City, are each charged with assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. All three were due to make their initial court appearances Thursday via video conference, and it wasn’t known if any of the defendants has retained an attorney.

Taylor, Tate, and Blackwell are all associated with three violent Jersey City street gangs which have been allied since at least September 2019, prosecutors said.

Traveling in a stolen vehicle, the three men drove to rival gang territory in Jersey City on July 7 and approached a group of individuals, prosecutors said. Taylor fired numerous rounds with a .45 caliber handgun from the vehicle driven by Tate, while Blackwell simultaneously tried to fire an assault pistol through the sunroof.

Tate then drove away from the scene but soon crashed while trying to elude law enforcement officers, prosecutors said, and all three men were captured. The targeted assault appears to be a retaliation for a previous shooting, prosecutors said.

The 12-year-old victim was treated for a leg wound, but further information about the child has not been released.