[NEWS] Crystal Sweet, 22, and beau Timothy Walter killed in Brooklyn triple shooting
A young single mother and her boyfriend were shot dead early Sunday in a wild triple shooting in the courtyard of a Brooklyn apartment complex, police said.
Crystal Sweet, 22, and Timothy Walter, a 29-year-old ex-con, were slain in a hail of bullets outside the Sheepshead Bay Houses, where Sweet lived with her family.
Walter's brother Cornelius Walter, 30, was also shot and critically injured in the melee, police said. He was fighting for life late Sunday at Kings County Hospital, officials said.
Sweet's mother, Josephine Rodriguez, 44, said she was sleeping in the family's flat off Nostrand Ave. when gunshots jarred her awake just after 5 a.m.
Then she heard screams - and a chillingly familiar name. "Crystal! Crystal!" cried the voices in the courtyard.
Hours earlier, Sweet - the mother of a 5-year-old daughter, Lydia - had stepped out for the night in a fancy, tangerine-colored halter dress, looking radiant and carefree as she smiled for a photo. Sweet, who worked as a home health aide, carried a matching purse slung playfully over her left arm. She was wearing the dress when she was shot.
Relatives said she went first to a bar, and then to a barbecue in Bedford-Stuyvesant. She was accompanied not by her boyfriend but by his older brother.
When they returned, after a long bus ride back to Sheepshead Bay, her boyfriend was waiting for them, relatives said.
Detectives were working to piece together the scenario that led to the deadly spray of bullets. They have not ruled out the possibility that at least two gunmen were involved, police said.
Sweet and the Walter brothers were each shot multiple times. At least 10 9-mm. shell casings were found at the scene, but no weapon was recovered, police sources said.
Police did not provide a motive for the madness, but cop sources said Timothy and Cornelius Walter both have extensive criminal records and had each done prison time. Timothy Walter had been arrested 24 times and was on parole. Cornelius Walter had 13 prior arrests, the sources said.
Sweet's father, Ricardo Rodriguez, said he suspects a Saturday argument between Timothy Walter and another man led to the bloody, predawn hit. "It was retaliation," he said, convinced Sweet was innocent. "She didn't have a bad bone about her."
Sweet's family said Timothy Walter was often abusive during their six-month relationship. On Friday, relatives said, he slammed her against a door as they fought during a family party. Timothy Walter's mother, who was driving to New York from Alabama, declined to comment.
Jaris Sweet, 23, raced into the courtyard after hearing the gunshots and found her sister shot in the head, neck and chest.
"The way she looked, it was terrifying," Jaris Sweet said. She said police pulled her away from her sister's body when she reached down for a final kiss.
Crystal Sweet's mother, her eyes swollen and red from crying, described her daughter as a doting mother who worked long hours to provide for her daughter. "She was an awesome, great mother," Rodriguez said.
"She was always happy," Ricardo Rodriguez said. "She always had a smile on her face."