As 16-year-old Khaseen Morris lay dying by a Long Island strip mall after he was stabbed in the chest during a fight over a girl, those watching failed to get any help and instead recorded him dying on their cell phones.
“They videoed his death instead of helping him. This can’t go on. Your friends are dying while you stand there are video it. That’s egregious,” Nassau County Police Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said of the large group that looked on while Morris lay dying, according to local station WNBC.
Morris was killed Monday afternoon just before 4 p.m. outside a bagel store while as many as 50 teenagers looked on, ABC News reports. Many of the teens recorded the violence on their cell phones rather than offering Morris help or calling 911 while he lay on the ground after witnesses said he was ambushed by a group of about six or seven people.
"He was a person that would help anyone, and no one helped him," his sister Keyanna Morris told local station WABC.
According to her, the fight broke out after a girl had asked her brother — who had just begun attending Oceanside High School — to walk her home after a party Sunday night.
“This girl played a game and tried to get her ex-boyfriend jealous and said somebody else walked me home,” Keyanna Morris told WNBC.
Soon after, she said, her brother began to receive threats that told him he needed to appear at the strip mall Monday afternoon.
An anonymous eyewitness told WABC that it appeared Morris was ambushed in the attack and had been “targeted” by seven or eight kids who had come from the north. During the melee, he was stabbed once in the chest. Another teen suffered a broken arm.
On Wednesday, 18-year-old Tyler Flach was arrested and charged with murder in the teen’s death, WABC reports.
He was arraigned Thursday and has entered a not guilty plea, according to the Long Island Herald.
"Tyler strongly maintains his innocence and took the responsible step of self-surrendering to eventually clear his name," his attorney, Edward Sapone, said. "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 on judgment and pray for those who are suffering."
Fitzpatrick has said police believe the teen took the altercation to the "next level" and stabbed Khaseen.
Authorities are asking other witnesses who may have videotaped the fight to turn over the footage to investigators as they work to determine who else may have been involved in the teen’s death.
“They video’d his death instead of helping. So anyone who has video, come forward. Do the right thing for Khaseen,” Fitzpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick believes that many of those in attendance know the identities of those responsible and has urged anyone with information to come forward.
As news of Khaseen’s death spread, many in the community were shocked and disgusted by the behavior of those at the scene.
“These kids, they have no humanity,” parent Jasmine Ortiz told WNBC.
The Morris family had recently moved to the area to get a fresh start. Just before he died, Khaseen had reportedly told his mother he had “finally found a school where he could be himself with nobody judging him,” his sister said.
The Oceanside School district called the teen’s death a “senseless tragedy.”
“Tragedies like this have to constantly remind us to be kind and caring people,” Superintendent Phyllis S. Harrington said.
The high school is offering counseling and support for those students who need it in the wake of the tragedy.
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