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Bus killing suspect indicted

Investigators look over the scene of a deadly shooting on the Q111 bus near the intersection of Parsons Boulevard and Archer Avenue in December. South Jamaica resident Damel Burton was indicted last week on charges related to the incident. Photo by Kendall Rodriguez
TimesLedger Newspapers

A little more than a month after Damel Burton allegedly went on a shooting rampage that started in his apartment and ended on a Q111 bus in Jamaica, the Baisley Houses resident was indicted last week by a Queens grand jury.

District Attorney Richard Brown announced Jan. 18 that the 34-year-old Burton, of 163-11 Foch Blvd in South Jamaica., had been indicted on two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of assault and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

“This defendant’s alleged actions have forever altered the lives of his victims and their families. He is accused of shooting his first victim in the sanctity of his own home and then terrorizing a city bus filled with passengers as he allegedly shot two more victims — one fatally. These are serious crimes that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Brown said.

If convicted, Burton faces up to 25 years in prison on the most serious charges.

Around 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Burton allegedly shot his girlfriend’s 18-year-old son, Keith Murrell, once in the chest inside his second-floor apartment, according to court documents. Murrell then fled to his room, closed the door and jumped from his window to a grassy area below, Brown said.

He was pronounced dead on arrival at Jamaica Hospital later that day, Brown said.

According to the charges, Burton then left the apartment and walked to the Q111 bus stop at the Parsons-Archer terminal, where he boarded the bus and shot his second victim, Marvin Gilkes, in the back of the head, Brown said. Gilkes was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency medical services personnel, the district attorney said.

Burton allegedly opened fire on a third victim who was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to his mouth and face, Brown said. Sources identified the third victim as Jajuan Lipsey.

Burton has been held without bail since his criminal court arraignment Dec. 3, and Brown said earlier this month the suspect was ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination.

Burton, who had recently been released from a seven-year prison sentence on armed robbery, allegedly told police his violent acts were motivated by his belief that the victims he had robbed in the past were sending people to stalk him, according to police statements submitted to Queens Criminal Court.

Burton allegedly told police who interviewed him at the 103rd Precinct that he was being followed “by people who were out to get him. People that he doesn’t know but those people know the victims of the people he has robbed. People have been trying to get him wherever he goes.”

In statements made to police, he allegedly claimed he shot Murrell because the 18-year old stabbed him in January.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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