Man Indicted in Stray Bullet Death of College-Bound NYC Teen Basketball Star


A 22-year-old Bronx man has been indicted on murder and other charges in the June stray bullet death of a 17-year-old high school basketball star and academic standout who ended up with a deadly wound to the back at a barbecue.

Nahjim Luke was arraigned Tuesday in the June 28 shooting death of Brandon Hendricks, who was killed just days after he graduated from high school and had been set to play college basketball for St. John’s prior to the COVID outbreak.

Prosecutors allege Luke fired shots at a group of people who had gathered for a barbecue that June evening. One of the shots struck Hendricks in his back. He was pronounced dead at a hospital less than an hour later. Luke fled the scene and was taken into custody about a week later, authorities have said.

He had been remanded after his arrest and that remand was continued Tuesday. Information on an attorney for him wasn’t immediately clear.

“The defendant allegedly callously fired into a group of people and ended the life of a young, promising teen,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement. “Since his death, Brandon’s mother has channeled her grief into ardently speaking out against gun violence in our community.”

Hendricks graduated from James Monroe High School in June, just days before he was killed. He was a point guard for the Eagles, helping them to the playoffs this season before COVID-19 interrupted athletics programs. His social media accounts evidenced a deep love for the game, with his Twitter account full of highlight videos and reports of peers going on to college offers.

A senior NYPD official said Hendricks had never had any interactions with the police in his young life. His family and friends were left reeling after his death — and wondering for whom the deadly bullet had been intended in the first place.

Hendricks’ coach took to Instagram shortly after his death to remember Hendricks as both an athletic and academic leader.

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