RACINE — Two Racine teenagers whom police say are members of the Northside For Life gang have been charged in the June 2 North Beach shooting that injured five people.
Thomas Burton, 17, of the 1500 block of Geneva Street, and Dashari Watson, 18, of the 1400 block of LaSalle Street, both face five counts of first-degree reckless injury and one count of first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Burton was also charged with possession of a firearm by an adjudicated delinquent.
All of those charges are felonies.
The criminal complaint released June 15 does not confirm that Watson and Burton’s actions directly caused the injuries to the victims of the shooting, because multiple people were allegedly seen firing weapons at the scene. A member of the rival Dirty P gang based on the south side of Racine was also observed firing a gun, according to police, but that individual has not been charged.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Racine Police Department:
Five people were injured by gunfire at North Beach on June 2. Officers first arrived on scene and located the victims:
One victim suffered a life-threatening shot to the chest.
Another suffered a grazing shot to the head that was not life-threatening.
A third person was shot in the lower back.
A fourth victim was shot in the foot.
A fifth victim was shot in the leg.
The oldest victim was 20 years old; the youngest victim was 13. Authorities have not disclosed the ages of each specific victim.
Prior to the shooting, a large number of young people were in the parking lot behind The Oasis, near the Kids Cove Playground. The criminal complaint states that all of those young people were members of the gang “Northside For Life,” or NFL.
Then, at approximately 7:20 p.m., three alleged members of the “Dirty P” gang (ages 20, 18 and 16) arrived at North Beach. One of the Dirty P members had taken his relative’s truck without permission and drove the other two to the area, according to the complaint. They parked the truck near the playground and started walking toward The Oasis.
As the three Dirty P members walked by, several NFL members could be seen grabbing their waistbands as though armed, police reported after reviewing surveillance footage. The Dirty Ps walked to the north end of the parking lot, then turned and walked back south. NFL members started following them. The Dirty Ps went back to the truck, with one of them getting in the driver’s seat. Numerous people from Northside For Life began kicking the truck and jumping on the hood, police said.
The Dirty P behind the wheel then started the truck and tried to pull away from the crowd, but ended up striking a Jeep in front of him, pushing the Jeep into a Hyundai that was parked in front of it.
“Once the truck lunged forward, the shooting started,” the criminal complaint states.
“Shots were being fired from multiple locations,” witnesses told authorities, and at least four different calibers of bullets were found at the scene.
Burton has a prior conviction for robbery with use of force committed last summer. Burton and Watson both remained in custody at the Racine County Jail on $150,000 cash bonds.
A status conference for both is scheduled July 8 at the Racine County Law Enforcement Center.
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