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Press Release

Two Bronx Men Sentenced To 14 And Over 11 Years In Prison For Shooting Three Victims Near A Playground

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ROBERT WADE was sentenced to 168 months in prison and DARRIUS CHRISTOPHER was sentenced to 137 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Sidney H. Stein.  CHRISTOPHER and WADE were each convicted, following trial, on December 7, 2022, of one count of possessing ammunition after having previously been convicted of a felony and one count of conspiracy to possess ammunition after having previously been convicted of a felony.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Today’s sentence demonstrates that those who use illegal weapons to inflict violence in our community will be held accountable for their crimes.  I thank our law enforcement partners in the New York City Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration for working with us to keep violent criminals off the streets and to keep our communities safe.”

According to evidence presented in court during the trial: 

On October 25, 2019, minutes before 7:42 p.m., CHRISTOPHER and WADE were dropped off by a car on Ryer Avenue in the Bronx, New York, approximately one block north of Slattery Playground.  CHRISTOPHER and WADE walked side-by-side southbound toward a group of approximately 10 young people gathered on the sidewalk next to Slattery Playground.  As they approached the group from the opposite side of Ryer Avenue, CHRISTOPHER removed a handgun from his pocket and racked the weapon, readying it to fire.  Soon after, CHRISTOPHER crossed the street and approached the group of people while WADE positioned himself on the opposite street of Ryer Avenue.  When CHRISTOPHER was mere feet from the group, CHRISTOPHER and WADE both opened fire.  CHRISTOPHER fired three shots while WADE fired seven bullets at the crowd.  CHRISTOPHER and WADE hit three victims, all of whom received treatment from a local hospital that night and were released.  CHRISTOPHER and WADE then made a prompt escape into a waiting getaway car a few blocks away.

Evidence at trial demonstrated that CHRISTOPHER and WADE were members of a gang and that one of the shooting victims had posted online video footage insulting rival gang members only hours before the shooting.  CHRISTOPHER and WADE’s shooting was revenge for insults one of their victims lodged against their gang.

When imposing today’s sentences, Judge Stein described the defendants’ crime as “horrific.”  Judge Stein further remarked he “couldn’t overstate the extreme gravity of this crime, shooting innocent bystanders” simply because the defendants “were called names.”

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CHRISTOPHER, 31, of the Bronx, New York, had previously been convicted of three crimes, including attempted robbery in the second degree and attempted assault in the first degree.  WADE, 34, of the Bronx, New York, had previously been convicted of four crimes, including assault in the second degree and attempted possession of a loaded firearm in the second degree.  In addition to the prison term, CHRISTOPHER and WADE were sentenced to three years of supervised release.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration in this investigation.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Narcotics Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan B. Finkel and Mollie E. Bracewell are in charge of the prosecution.


Nicholas Biase
(212) 637-2600

Updated February 13, 2023

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 23-056