For Immediate Release
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Drive-By Shooting That Wounded A Pregnant Bystander
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Steven Bynum was sentenced by United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly to 18 years in prison for possessing, brandishing, and discharging a firearm in furtherance of a drug distribution conspiracy. On September 10, 2017, Bynum shot and wounded a pregnant innocent bystander in the head leaving the victim severely disabled after firing a handgun into a group of people. Bynum pleaded guilty to the charges in February 2020.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John B. Devito, Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New York Field Division (ATF), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.
“Today’s sentence holds the defendant accountable for his callous and wanton disregard for human life and safety in opening fire and shooting a pregnant bystander in the head, causing her permanent paralysis,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office and its law enforcement partners are deeply committed to protecting residents in our communities from the dangers of senseless gun violence and to ensuring that defendants like Bynum are prosecuted and punished for their heinous acts.”
“Today’s sentencing of a violent criminal shows the steadfast commitment by ATF to identify and bring to justice those who commit any act of violence in our communities” stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Devito. “The defendant’s vile actions and disregard for human life left a mother paralyzed and threatened the life of her unborn child. Thanks to the efforts of the ATF/NYPD Sparta Task Force, this defendant will no longer be able to commit willful acts of violence and prey upon the citizens we have sworn to protect.”
“Gun violence has absolutely no place in New York City,” stated NYPD Commissioner Sewell. “The NYPD, working in tandem with our law enforcement partners, is relentless in its pursuit of the very few people in our city who are responsible for the majority of the violence. Today’s sentencing sends a strong message that this behavior will never be tolerated in New York City, and that anyone reckless enough to pick up and use an illegal gun here will face the full consequences of their actions. I commend the NYPD investigators, the members of ATF, and the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York – whose collective efforts resulted in this arrest, conviction, and meaningful prison sentence.”
According to court documents, in early 2017, Bynum stole drugs from a rival drug dealer (Individual 1) and then distributed those drugs at the Kingsborough Houses in Crown Heights. In June 2017, Individual 1 retaliated against Bynum for the theft by assaulting Bynum near the Kingsborough Houses. On September 10, 2017, Bynum drove a rental car to the vicinity of 2070 Dean Street in East New York to retaliate against Individual 1. Bynum located Individual 1 standing with a group of people, including a pregnant bystander (“Victim”) who lived in the neighborhood. Bynum circled the block, slowed his vehicle, and fired multiple shots from an illegally possessed 9mm handgun at the group. Bynum’s shots missed Individual 1 and instead hit the five-month pregnant Victim twice in the head. The Victim underwent multiple surgeries and spent over two months in the hospital recovering from her wounds. As a result of the shooting, the Victim is permanently paralyzed on her right side, has cognitive and speaking impediments, and suffers from other serious medical issues. The Victim’s baby was born two months’ prematurely but survived.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. As part of the program, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices work in partnership with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement and their local communities to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.
Assistant United States Attorney Francisco J. Navarro is in charge of the prosecution.
STEVEN BYNUM (also known as “Nitty”)
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-255 (AMD)