Oceanside, NY – Dozens of teens pulled out their cell phones to record a 16-year-old boy being stabbed to death during a fight over a girl on Monday.
Nassau County police estimated that between 50 and 70 people gathered to watch and record the deadly brawl – but not one of them tried to stop it, FOX News reported.
Some of the teens later uploaded the footage to social media, according to police.
Khaseen Morris, 16, was stabbed once in the chest during the altercation. He was rushed to a local hospital, where he later died.
“Kids stood there and didn’t help Khaseen,” Nassau County Police Detective Lieutenant Stephen Fitzpatrick said, according to FOX News. “They’d rather video. They videoed his death instead of helping him.”
Lt. Fitzpatrick said that police have viewed footage from the scene, and said that 18-year-old Tyler Flach was “absolutely” the person who fatally stabbed Morris, Newsday reported.
Flach pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree murder in First District Court in Hempstead on Thursday afternoon.
He was ordered to be held without bond.
“This defendant and his group of friends went looking for 16-year-old Khaseen Morris,” Senior Nassau Assistant District Attorney Ania Pulaski told the court, according to Newsday. “This defendant attacked Mr. Morris, stabbed him in the chest…piercing his heart.”
A group of six or seven males attacked Morris and some of his friends as they were standing in front of a strip mall near Oceanside High School, Lt. Fitzpatrick said, according to CNN.
Charges against other individuals may be forthcoming, Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told Newsday.
“The time to come forward is now,” Commissioner Ryder said, according to Newsday. “We have a community that’s outraged by the death of this young man. We’re outraged by the death of this young man. We had people stand by and take video. There’s video evidence that is out there.”
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Signas described the attack as a “horrific tragedy” for Morris’ family and the entire Oceanside community.
“We can’t sit idly by as 16-year-olds expire and bleed out on our streets here in Nassau County,” Signa implored. “So please, give us the information…to ensure that justice is done for Khaseen and his family.”
Flach also has two other cases pending against him for prior arrests, according to Newsday.
On May 23, he was arrested in connection with a road-rage incident, and was charged with third-degree assault.
He was apprehended again on Sept.8, and was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance.
“Tyler strongly maintains his innocence and he took the responsible step of self-surrendering to eventually clear his name,” his attorney, Edward Sapone, told Newsday. “At the appropriate time, we will release vital information about what happened that’s not captured on video and that completely changes this case. Until then, we ask the community to reserve judgment and pray for those who are suffering.”
Sapone also alleged that some of Morris’ friends may be affiliated with the Bloods street gang, and he has requested that Flach be held in protective custody as a precaution, News 12 reported.