Ta'Jae Warner, the 17-year-old-girl rendered brain-dead after an attack last Friday in Coney Island, died on Tuesday after her family had her taken off of life support.
The night of the beating, Warner had gone with her younger brother to a store near her home in Ocean Towers, a Mitchell-Lama complex in the southern Brooklyn neighborhood. The New York Times reports:
A group of girls approached the boy and threatened to kill him, [Warner's] cousin Jahmika Johnson said. Ms. Warner, who had been inside the store, walked out and confronted the girls in an effort to protect her brother, and the argument escalated to a fight, Ms. Johnson said.
A police account of the crime makes no mention of the other girls who are said to have been present for the attack, naming only 18-year-old Sabrina Agard-Forde of Brownsville, who officers arrested on assault charges.
Police say Agard-Forde hit Warner in the face, and that she fell and hit her head on the pavement, losing consciousness. Doctors at Coney Island Hospital placed her in a medically induced coma, and on Saturday she was transported to NYU Hospital, where she was declared brain-dead on Sunday.
Other charges may be brought depending on the findings of the Medical Examiner's Office and a grand jury.
"The case is a tragedy," said Agard-Forde's lawyer Robert Heilbrun. "My client has never been in trouble, never been arrested. She’s graduating from Brooklyn Bridge high school in the spring. And when all the facts are out she will be exonerated."
Warner's father Arthur urged others who may have been involved to turn themselves in, though police say they aren't seeking any other suspects.
'Give yourself up," he said. "Because the one that they do have in custody will sing. She's going to sing her tune."
Agard-Forde was released on bail on Sunday.
Warner's mother Niece is struggling to understand what happened. "She had no enemies," she told the Daily News. "She never really went outside."
There had been 46 felony assaults and 1 murder in Coney Island's 60th Precinct as of March 20th, compared to 59 assaults and 2 murders at the same time in 2015, according to NYPD statistics.