A young couple murdered in New York was reportedly caught in a gang war between two groups sparked by a stolen purse.
Jesse Parrilla, 22, and Nikki Huang, 23, were found dead inside a burning car on Shore Road last Monday.
They were allegedly killed by members of Manhattan’s Down the Hill gang, reported the New York Post citing New York police department sources.
The shootings appeared to have erupted after Huang called her gangster friends in the rival Up the Hill gang, informing them that the rival crew mugged her last Sunday and stole her handbag.
Immersed in a turf war for years, the gang reportedly did not let the complaint pass. On Sunday began the first in a series of shootings that led to the gunning down of Brandon Atkinson, identified as a 39-year-old member of the Down the Hill gang, in New York’s Alphabet City neighbourhood.
Rushed to Bellevue hospital, he was later pronounced dead, reported the Post, citing sources.
In the alleged retaliatory shooting, two members of the Up the Hill group were shot and wounded.
Police told the Post the gang then went after Huang by forcing her to call her friend from the Up the Hill gang at gunpoint and leave his house in Queens so they could get their revenge.
Maurice Sullivan, 27, was shot around 2.20am on Monday when he was taking out the trash.
The alleged revenge killing culminated with the murder of Huang and her friend Parilla, who were driven near Bronx golf course and shot in the car owned by Parilla’s mother that was later set ablaze, reported the outlet.
Investigators believe Parilla, a former college basketball player at upstate Genesee Community College, was allegedly only giving Huang a ride and had no involvement in the gang war.
“Right now it looks like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time,” one Manhattan police officer was quoted as saying. “He has no criminal record. It looks like he was just hanging out with Nikki.”