An East New York man faces up to life in prison without parole after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in Brooklyn Supreme Court on May 9.
The jury convicted 27-year-old Unique Gray of fatally shooting 35-year-old livery cab driver Fawaz Naji while attempting to rob him in Bedford-Stuyvesant in 2015 — an incident that District Attorney Eric Gonzalez characterized as a tragedy that robbed Naji’s kids of their father.
“The victim in this case was a dedicated father of four who worked at a bodega during the day and then drove a cab at night to provide a better life for his family,” Gonzalez said. “His dreams were destroyed when this defendant needlessly shot him while trying to rob him of his hard-earned money.”
Gray and another man, Tyrell Gardenhire — who a judge sentenced to nine years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision when he pled guilty to first-degree attempted robbery on March 13 — flagged down Naji’s cab on Decatur Street near Malcolm X Boulevard at around 12:20 a.m. on June 29, 2015, according to information from Gonzalez’s office.
Gray then shot Naji five times — including in his face, back, arm, and hand — with a revolver while he attempted to rob him inside the cab, according to the district attorney’s office, which added that surveillance footage captured the shooting.
Gray fled the scene on foot following the shooting, but left his phone inside the cab, according to information from Gonzalez’s office, which added that police officers apprehended him in North Carolina exactly two months after the shooting and extradited him to Kings County.
Gray’s sentencing is set for May 30, according to the district attorney’s office.