A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for fatally shooting a father-of-four during the J’Ouvert celebration that was held in advance of the 2014 West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights.
According to Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, the defendant – Crown Heights resident Derek Goodings – has been dealt the sentence, as well as five years’ post-release supervision, after pleading guilty last month to first-degree manslaughter.
According to trial testimony, at approximately 3:30 a.m. on September 1, 2014, Goodings fired a loaded weapon into a crowd of people during the J’Ouvert celebration that typically precedes the annual West Indian Day Parade, striking 55-year-old Michael Sampson in the chest, killing him, and injuring another bystander.
Goodings also fired at and struck an unmarked police van in which a uniformed officer was sitting.
He then fled the scene and, while being chased by police, turned his gun on an officer, who discharged his service weapon. He was eventually apprehended.
“This defendant has now been held accountable for a senseless shooting that took the life of a 55-year-old man who was a beloved father and grandfather,” said Gonzalez. “What should have been a joyous cultural celebration was marred by this tragic shooting. Such violence, whether during J’Ouvert or anywhere else in Brooklyn, will not go unpunished.”
Shortly after the shooting, Sampson’s girlfriend of seven years told authorities that all her boyfriend wanted to do was enjoy the West Indian Parade, and that he was donning a special yellow and green shirt – the colors of his native Grenada – when he was shot and killed.