A 20-year-old Brooklyn man has been arrested in the shooting death of 22-year-old Tiarah Poyau during the overnight J'Ouvert parade and street party in Crown Heights early Monday morning, police confirmed today. Poyau was one of two revelers killed during J'Ouvert. Police still don't have leads on a suspect in the killing of 17-year-old Tyreke Borel, who was fatally shot in the chest near the intersection of Empire Boulevard and Flatbush Avenue.
Police said that the suspect in Poyau's death, Regenald Moise of Flatbush, told detectives that he hadn't been aware that his gun was loaded when it went off. He may have been intoxicated at the time of the shooting. "I think I shot somebody," Moise allegedly told a friend, before attempting to stash his gun at an acquaintance's apartment. Police did not say that Moise had any connection to gang activity. He has five prior arrests, all sealed.
Poyau's friends and family described her to The Post as ambitious and career-driven. A graduate of St. John's, she hoped to eventually become an accountant.
Cops had broken up a nearby drunken fight just before Poyau's shooting, making two arrests, according to DNAInfo. It wasn't immediately clear if Moise was involved in the fight.
"We still have a long way to go, more ballistic and blood evidence to check, but we believe it's him," Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce told reporters.
Boyce provided further details on Poyau's death, and the events leading up to Moise's arrest. According to police, Poyau was with a group of three other female friends around 4:00 a.m. near the intersection of Washington Avenue and Empire Boulevard. She became separated from her friends in the crowd. Around 4:15 a.m., Boyce said, "They hear the shot ring out and see her fall." Cops recovered a nine-millimeter shell casing from the scene.
Police said Moise called a female friend after the shooting and asked to stash the gun at her apartment, located at 480 Montgomery Street between Nostrand and New York Avenues. She conceded, and when he arrived there he allegedly fired two rounds into a wall and broke a mirror, cutting his hand. Police pulled Moise over at 7:57 a.m. at the corner of Parkside Avenue and Parade Place in Brooklyn, as he appeared to be driving under the influence.
"He crashed into three cars," Boyce said, adding, "When they pull him from the car his hand is cut up and tied off with a Caribbean flag."
Moise was questioned by police Tuesday. Cops also said they've recovered Moise's gun, which allegedly matches the shells found on the scene at Empire Boulevard. Moise has been charged preliminarily with second degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon, and reckless endangerment.
Boyce added Tuesday that "we don't know a lot" about Borel's shooting, adding that police are currently reviewing the victim's Facebook page and interviewing his mother.
News of Moise's arrest came during a monthly crime statistics meeting at One Police Plaza, during which top brass dubbed this summer the safest of any in the Compstat era, dating back to 1994. Murders in the first eight months of 2016 are down ten, or 4%, over last year; shootings are down 108 incidents, or about 14%. However, on a month-to-month basis, shootings in August actually increased—145, compared to 122 in August 2015. Cops said the shootings were concentrated in the 67th, 75th and 73rd precincts in Brooklyn, and were "driven by gangs."
The summer crime report accounted for shootings through August 31st, excluding J'Ouvert. Chief of Department James O'Neill, who will replace Bill Bratton as NYPD Commissioner this fall, provided Labor Day Weekend statistics for context—looking back to 2003, there was a high of 40 shootings in 2011, and a low of 12 in 2010. This year, there were 21 shootings over the holiday weekend. As for homicides, O'Neill said there were seven this past weekend, down from the 2005 high of ten.
O'Neill added that there was no violence at the West Indian Day Parade, which drew 1.1 million attendees on Monday.
Reporters grilled Mayor de Blasio on Tuesday about his plans for next year's J'Ouvert, following calls from officials and activists that the celebration be suspended in 2017. Mayor de Blasio said Monday that "more" needed to be done in preparation for next year's festivities, and said on Tuesday that he does not have plans to cancel the event, declining to detail a 2017 action plan.
"J'Ouvert will continue, but we're going to look for every conceivable way to make it safer," he said.