A New York teenager pleaded not guilty Thursday after being accused of stabbing to death a high school student while colleagues watched and even videotaped.
18-year-old Tyler Flach is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old Khaseen Morris, who was killed last Monday of a stab wound after a brawl outside a strip mall near Oceanside High School in Oceanside, New York, the CNN reports.
According to the Nassau County Police Department, about seven people attacked Morris and his friends while between 50 and 70 onlookers watched and some recorded the incident on their phones.
“Kids stood here and didn’t help Khaseen,” said Nassau County Police Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick at a news conference. “They videoed his death instead of helping him.”
Morris died from his wounds after being taken to the hospital, Fitzpatrick said.
Flach has since been remanded into custody and is due back in court Monday.
Fitzpatrick said the fight, which he described as “prearranged”, was sparked by “a dispute over a young lady” that Morris was seen with.
Keyanna Morris said her brother had walked a girl home and had been threatened by the girl’s ex-boyfriend.
“Khaseen is like, ‘OK, if you beat me up, fine.’” she told Newsday. “No one knew he was going to bring a million people out there — and a knife.”
“That dispute boiled over here, where a group of six to seven males charged at the victim and his couple of friends, and during that melee, stabbed him,” Fitzpatrick said.
He added that Morris, even though he was unarmed, knew that someone might assault him after school following threats he received on social media.
Keyanna told CNN that her brother had just started his senior year at Oceanside and had made new friends after leaving his previous school in Freeport, a village on Long Island, where he was unhappy.
She said he was a “good pure soul” who would walk into a room “just smiling” and make “everyone so happy.”
“When he came here [Oceanside], he was able to be his kind of different with no judgment and he loved it. The moment he stepped foot in Oceanside, everyone loved him,” Keyanna said.
“Him being so nice, that one good deed that he did got him killed,” another sister, Kedeemah Morris, told the New York Times.
Memorial services for Morris will be held on September 28.