Teenager Indicted for Killing a Brooklyn Father Over a Baseball Cap in Flatbush

Friday, September 16, 2016


Teenager Indicted for Killing a Brooklyn Father
Over a Baseball Cap in Flatbush

Defendant Fatally Shot the Victim in the Back;
Victim’s 17-year-old Son Witness to Shooting

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Flatbush teenager has been indicted on murder and related charges stemming from the fatal shooting of a 38-year-old father who attempted to retrieve a baseball cap allegedly stolen from his son days earlier.

District Attorney Thompson said, “A coveted baseball cap set off a deadly chain of events that ended with a father shot to death in front of his teenage son outside an elementary school playground. This was a cowardly and callous act, for which this defendant will now be held accountable.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Adonis Barnett, 16, of Flatbush, Brooklyn. The defendant was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on August 3, 2016, at approximately 10:18 p.m., near the basketball courts outside of P.S. 6, in the vicinity of Snyder and Bedford Avenues, the defendant allegedly shot the victim, Gerald Cummings, once in the back and once in the back of the head. The victim’s son was present at the time of the shooting. The victim had approached the defendant and another teen alleging that the teens assaulted his son and stole his ‘Just Don’ Oakland Raiders leather and snakeskin baseball cap days earlier at the same location, on July 29, 2016. The cap is valued at approximately $400.

On the night of the shooting, witnesses—including the victim’s son—saw the defendant with an individual who was wearing the distinct stolen cap prompting the victim’s son to call his father for assistance. When the victim arrived and attempted to retrieve his son’s hat, the defendant and his friend argued with the victim. As the victim proceeded to leave, the defendant took a gun out of his backpack and shot the victim twice, according to the investigation and the defendant’s own statements.

The victim died at Kings County Hospital as a result of gunshot wounds.

A second defendant, Romell Baptiste, 16, of Flatbush, Brooklyn has been indicted on charges of second-degree robbery for allegedly stealing the ‘Just Don’ baseball cap on July 29, 2016. He was arraigned before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog on September 9, 2016.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Howard L. Jackson, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Taub, Bureau Chief.


An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.