Hundreds mourn Darryl Adams

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Photo gallery

Shanta Merritt releases balloons in memory of her son. Photo by Christina Santucci
Darryl Adams' brother Ronald Merritt holds a ballon in front of where Adams' was killed at the start of a memorial Tuesday morning. Photo by Christina Santucci
Darryl Adams' brother Ronald Merritt ties a ballon in front of where Adams' was killed at the start of a memorial Tuesday morning. Photo by Christina Santucci
Darryl Adams' mother Shanta Merritt (front) is handed a balloon by LIFE Camp founder Erica Ford. Photo by Christina Santucci
Dozens of mourners surround Darryl Adams' family - mother Shanta Merritt and brothers Devante (third l., front) and Ronald (back in red shirt) - as they release balloons at the spot where he was killed in South Jamaica. Photo by Christina Santucci
Hundreds of mourners wait on line to attend Darryl Adams' funeral. Shenee Johnson (r.), whose sone Kedrick Morrow was killed in 2010, assists with the organization. Photo by Christina Santucci
Mourners release balloons in memory of Darryl Adams. Photo by Christina Santucci
Supporters surround Shanta Merritt. Photo by Christina Santucci
Ronald Merritt (c.) gets a hug from LIFE Camp members Tatiana Douyon (l.) as Vanalia Culbertson looks on. Photo by Christina Santucci
Mourners gather in front of the church where the funeral was held. Photo by Christina Santucci
Teenagers wear buttons for Darryl Adams to his funeral. Photo by Christina Santucci

The more than 1,000 people who filled up a Rochdale church Monday night were there for two reasons.

The first was to pay their final respects to Darryl Adams, the 18-year-old who was murdered earlier this month in South Jamaica. The second was to take a stand against gun violence, as police added another charge against a member of the group the NYPD contended carried out Adams’ murder.

The day after the funeral, tensions between family members of Adams and police ran high when a group gathered in a neighborhood park and several people, including Adams’ two brothers were arrested and his mother taken to the hospital, according to community activists.

But the night before the community stood united during the service for Adams at New Jerusalem Baptist Church at 122-05 Smith St.

“They took my heart from me,” said Adams’ mother, Shanta Merritt, speaking softly during the funeral.

Merritt could barely talk, and friends and family often broke down while trying to describe the young basketball player who hoped to get a SUNY basketball scholarship.

But Merritt said she was pleasantly surprised at the throngs of people who showed up at the funeral.

“I don’t even know some of you all,” she said with a laugh.

On March 2 at about 12:30 a.m., shots rang out near South Jamaica Houses, or the Forties Projects, and a surveillance camera captured Adams running down the sidewalk and collapsing. Two figures then entered the frame. One of them raised a gun and shot Adams while he was down, according to the tape.

As word spread of Adams’ death, the family began receiving an outpouring of support from all of southeast Queens, according to Merritt.

But police were making connections as well in the aftermath of the shooting after officers first arrested two teenagers at the scene. Cops eventually netted 11 people following Adams’ murder, according to the NYPD, and one of those young men was recently charged with a separate murder that occurred last month, police said.

But news of the arrests were absent from the packed chapel, where many of Adams’ friends and family got one last look at his face before the casket was closed.

Erica Ford, an advocate trying to end violence in southeast Queens, said Adams’ death cannot be forgotten.

“I want every person who is committed to peace in southeast Queens to stand up,” she said as the entire chapel got to their feet.

Ford has made this speech before. She listed several other murder victims who died from gunshots over the years.

But she hoped that this time it would be different.

“This is not an accident that Darryl brought out all of southeast Queens,” she said. “This has to be the one.”

Ford wants to raise $5 million to institute a program called Cease Fire, which would combat gun violence, in all of the public housing projects in the area. She also wants to make a musical tribute to Adams by bringing musicians from different neighborhoods together.

But Ford was also with the family Tuesday, when she said family and friends clashed with police.

An officer at the 103rd Precinct confirmed that an incident took place and that several people were arrested, and Jamaica Hospital Center confirmed that Merritt had been admitted and was in stable condition.

City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) was working to get some of the young men who were arrested released, a community leader said.

Adams’ funeral occurred nearly a week after police raided a Rosedale home and made 11 arrests soon after his murder, authorities said.

One of the teens arrested, Terrance Housner, 20, was also charged with the murder of Cody Khan, who was killed last month.

Immediately after Adams was shot, police arrested 16-year-old Alexander Burgess and 19-year-old Sean Barnhill. They were charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, but later they were also charged with attempted murder in connection with other shootings in the area, police said.

And among the 11 arrested in the Rosedale house, 17-year-old Dontaye Goines and 17-year-old Romain Brady were also charged with attempted murder, police said.

Goines and Burgess allegedly shot a man Feb. 25, according to the NYPD, while Brady and Barnhill are accused of a shooting March 1.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 12:56 am, March 15, 2012
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Reader feedback

Bruce Lee MF from Queens says:
It's a damn shame. It's traumatized me to see the video of a young man running for his life and than gunned down so cold hearted. Im pissed off for two reasons. One, I don't know how many cameras captured the incident, where it's been said, that, he was shot before he entered the projects. If he was shot before the final shot, the cops must of seen it. Why did they allow a murder then? Also, I heard, ppl are going on these social networks, who are so called "friends" of Darryl Adams, who are cheering for the release of one of the perpetrators of Darryl Adams murder, Alexander Burgess and in the same breath are also saying RIP Darryl! His own friends. So called friends. I really don't care about this, Im just sick of these African American kids destroying lives. Crips and bloods have to be destroyed forever!!!!!! This is all gang related and because of people like this, the community is in fear and that angers me. STOP THE VIOLENCE!!!!!!
March 14, 2012, 8:44 am
Selena from Queens says:
I'm sure this mother has endured more than one person can bear. To have her child murdered and immediatly after burial, her other two sons get arrested. Not fair at all. I pray that this family stay strong and hold on to god. The community as a whole sholud come together during this time. We all need each other. We are all brothers and sisters. It doesn't matter the skin color. We need to love thy neighbor not kill thy neighbor. Praying for this fam, community and may his soul rest in peace!
March 17, 2012, 1:44 am
Boo Boo 134 G-unit from Guy r brewer Blvd. says:
Darryls friends killed the 24 year old Maurice in rochdale a week later it's never gonna end ,and the police make it worst having kids tell on each other and snitch and give each other up that's just as sad as killing one another hate for one another is created everyday with this media instigating ,then they put these. Guys address in the news now it's really gonna be a retaliation most likely with everyone knowing smh
March 18, 2012, 6:59 pm
Chaz from Queens says:
Mourice n that incident that happened dnt have anything to do wit each other ppl just talk what they dnt know
March 18, 2012, 9:07 pm
wow from queens all day says:
Maurice johnson murder has nothin to do with any of darryl murders who said gang wrong&bruce lee none of darryl peers&friends is sayin free his killer get your facts right...smh...they sayin free their friend who was arrested on mistaken identity damn...these are kids reguardless of what others may think y'all don't even know all the facts&the media&others like are always please get your facts straight ok...
March 18, 2012, 9:40 pm
Selena from Queens says:
Who really cares what people say? People will have their opinions about this case and they will think what they want. It doesn't matter. What matters is, that a young man lost his life senslessly. It doesn't matter what the reasons are a young man was murdered. It didn't have to happen. It shouldn't of happened and it could of been prevented, in my opinion. Now his mother is left with the pain while people go around talking sh..t. I pray for his mother, friends and his fam. Hope the community comes together and care fir one another instead of killing each other. We are all brothers and sisters. It doesn't matter the color. May his soul rest in peace.
March 19, 2012, 4:46 pm
just wanna say from southside says:
darryl was and still is a good young man,he wasnt in the streets,he never did anything to anyone..smh the good ones is always taken away from life..i pray that his mom his dad and family get though this...smmfh
March 20, 2012, 10:36 pm
Ab from Queens says:
Terrence didn't murder that boy everyone knows that in the street, I hope the truth comes out.
March 24, 2012, 3:25 pm
Justin timberlake yuur from NY says:
To wow from queens all day: mistaken identity? Sure!!! You all know what really happened so don't get mad when people say what they feel. Read what people say before making comment. Kids with guns. Real nice.
March 24, 2012, 4:38 pm
Deena from Queens says:
To all you ignorant, uneducated, special Ed created, gang wannabees, you are all to blame for this kids death. Those of you on here who made comments about his death and about other murders, you are all wasteful people who have nothing better to do with your lives. You people make me sick. I see you walking in his neighborhood and you people look so stupid and dumb and clueless. I'm sick of seeing these ignorant kids walking around looking lost cause this kid is gone. You all created this situation. Another dumb ignorant thing said about this kid is "he is in a better place". How can he be in a better place when he is dead? That comment never makes sense to me. To you wannabe gangstas: get educated. At least get a hs diploma. Can't do much with a JHS diploma. A lost life for nothing. Stupid kids!!
March 24, 2012, 10:09 pm
Jay from Astoria says:
I pray for his mother and family. May the lord keep you safe from harm and may he bless you always. Lord hear our prayers. Please lord, no more violence. Please lord watch over our children. Keep them safe from the streets and people who want to harm them. Lord hear our prayer! Lord bring comfort and peace to the family so they can go on and deal with this loss in the coming days. Lord hear our prayer! To his friends, please, look for God. There are no answers in the streets only more questions. Why did this have to happen? Lord hear our prayer! To his brothers and sisters, use this to motivate you to do better and move on and live better lives. Love each other and comfort each other. Lord hear our prayer!Amen!!!
March 25, 2012, 7:16 pm
kee-kee says:
u will be well missed
March 27, 2012, 9:39 pm
tee from queenz says:
Darryl's murder did not have to happen. this is all just senseless. Maurice's murder definitely didnt have to happen. I knew Maurice all my life, he was a man who was looking to earn a trade in the Navy, he wasn't a street dude. Now Darryl's friends are going around saying free this person and free that person. its all on you tube. free bar, barshawn ford is a murderer, just look him up in the inmate look-up. he has been arrested for a murder. on a video on youtube they are saying free bar, what a coincidence. Darryl Adams should still be alive and so should Maurice. These 2 didnt even know each other. So for them both 2 be dead is senseless. I spoke to Maurice about Darryls murder cause it was in the news and we both said these young boys are killing each other for no apparent reason. He then said how could they keep playing that video of Darryl's death, what about the people that are in mourning. This is just sad.
June 3, 2012, 1 am
CashMade Designs from Acres Home in Houston Tx says:
This is so sad. My condolences to the family and RIP to Daryl. It's pathetic how these animals are killing our young men like flies! God help us!
Aug. 1, 2012, 11:58 am
i.m from 40p says:
bobo from 134...need to get fu#Kin shot comming out of darryl sisters mouth real —— —— my brother is dead because of ignorant ppl like urself my brother dnt have anything to do with no shooting anywhere my heart go out to the family of that boy god knows i hate when ppl try to bash someones name my brother was not about that life how u know it was over 2000 ppl at his funeral #real love lets see how many comes out to urs i wish he was still here pissed da f@#k off now fake ass fifty cent in his prime if —— calling u booboo they need to call u bozo
Aug. 13, 2012, 11:56 am
phil from queens says:
we are all responsible, we are covering up for the criminals. i am sure there are a lot of people out there who knows exactly what is going on. i wish the cops whould do a better job at what they do.
can you imagine what the outside world is saying about us. its ashame.
Aug. 19, 2012, 10:40 pm
queens don from queens says:
spaz killed cody tht —— grimey that was supposed to b his mans
Sept. 7, 2012, 2:39 pm
Widow from Hollis says:
Darryl and Maurice's deaths are not related. Stop putting dirt on their names and let them rest in peace.
Dec. 13, 2012, 12:57 am
Gain Greene Boss from hollis queens says:
live by the gun you die by the gun
killed over nothing too petty ——. smhh.
#free boss don biggavel.
Dec. 19, 2012, 7:08 am
They call me show from Sutphin says:
Jan. 12, 2013, 8:44 pm
The realist from NYC says:
Stop saying free bar and rip Darryl in the same sentence . Bar went over on farmers and killed Kapo on Feb. 26 , then his boys came back and killed Darryl on Mar 2. All of you dummies are at fault. These are people's lives. There is no beef that is worth a life.
Jan. 16, 2013, 9:41 am
flavor from queens says:
To the realist, you need to go to police with that information. Those who killed that boy aka "Kapo", are probably still walking the streets. Little kids playing with guns just to be the toughest in the street. So sad the mentality of these kids and the adults who are encouraging them.
Feb. 2, 2013, 5:01 am
flavor from queens says:
A lot of people on here making comments about who killed who and when and where, you need to go to police with that information.
Feb. 2, 2013, 5:17 am
flavor from queens says:
Look how dumb and ignorant these people are. They post crimes on a newspaper article like as if they are chatting with friends on facebook. Uneducated animals. I hope you all get caught and locked up for posting that information. They must be smoking "E". I heard that's what these kids do. Drugs is what's driving these kids to kill.
Feb. 3, 2013, 7:55 am
Prophet from Queens says:
We all failed these kids. Martin Luther King lost his life for us to do great things, but weare only killing each other. The projects, welfare, crack and money mess our race up. They box us in with every other lowlife and expect us to succeed. Getting a gun is easier than getting a highschool diploma these days. All these people airing the streets dirty laundry out n these articles are scared to go to the police. They must see this as a safe haven. If the cops did thier jobs we would be reding more success stories in the timesledger not tragic ones. To any young man or woman reading this, please do better. Stay away from negativity and save our future, because right now a black man is not expected to see the age 30.
Feb. 11, 2013, 1:33 am
Fromthaotherside from queens says:
First & foremost rest in peace darryl adams & free bar!!!! Barshawn is not a murdered dont judge something you dont know or just because the newspaper said it.. innocent until proven guilty, because hes young... black... makes him a murderer ?? you guys get ya facts str8 before u post things.. FREE BAR STOP LYING ON HIM!!!! N.S
March 2, 2013, 6:13 pm
corrine from queens says:
Free Bar? Dumb assess. You all make me sick by dishing your dirt on this newspaper which most likely will be read by NYPD. Pennyless fools!! Jealous cause you want what you cant have. I hope they burn down those projects. Broke, poor, hungry, lonely, dirty little demons who will make a dollar killing, stealing or selling drugs. You are NOBODY! You can all die and go to hell. Ty you too. Your nobody. Stop posting money and your dirt on facebook fool. You think your sooo cool. Your nobody. Using your friends death to make it in the dirdiest rap industry. Fake ass.
Sept. 3, 2013, 1:13 am
Ash says:
Free bar and rip Darryl the sad part is that ems should have been there also Darryl was still alive when they rolled up he is someone I grew up with and it's so sad !!!
Nov. 8, 2013, 1:39 pm
sick of the hood from 40 projects says:
821 slimes are accident murderers. How many people going to die because of your ——? What yall can't see, yall real enemies are out here laughing at yall. Oh Im sorry yall cool now right, taking pictures on the bus with them. Disgusting!! All of you are to blame for this. RIP to all who have fallen.
Dec. 9, 2013, 3:36 pm
boy from $ says:
Trigger oz mad caz he sound like a —— rapping everyone wants to be a goon but be in court like it honor I have a kid like fu¢k ya kid u should of been with them when u was out there being a murderer yea he got shot once his friend died and this purpose$$y a$$ nicca Ty got grazed whateva Ty was popping mad —— I know if he was out there he would have been the one but it's been said for years if u got beef with one then u beefing with all Poor Darryl was killed for that dirty di©k nigg@ I hope the whole snow gang n Ty get popped
April 3, 2014, 8:59 pm

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