OCEANSIDE, L.I. – Police arrested a suspect on Wednesday who stands accused of fatally stabbing a 16-year-old Long Island boy in a fight that apparently started over a girl, Newsday reported.
Authorities said that they now have 18-year-old Tyler Flach of Lido Beach in custody after he turned himself in in connection with the Oceanside high schooler’s death. Police say that a group of individuals got into the physical altercation with Khaseen Morris on Monday. At one point during the fight, someone pulled a knife and Morris was stabbed in the chest, which ultimately took his life.
As he lay on the ground bleeding, authorities say that a group of onlookers whipped out their phones and filmed instead of jumping in to help him.
Flach is due to be arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on Thursday morning.
His defense attorney says that he is cooperating with authorities and plans to plead not guilty to the charges in connection with Morris’s death. Police did not provide any additional details on how Flach was linked to the murder, or whether he was confirmed to be the one who pulled the knife.
“Tyler strongly maintains his innocence and he took the responsible step of self-surrendering to eventually clear his name,” defense attorney Edward Sapone said. “At the appropriate time, we will release vital information about what happened that’s not capturedon video and that completely changes this case. Until then, we ask the community to reserve judgment and pray for “those who are suffering.”
A makeshift memorial continues to grow outside of the Oceanside pizzeria where 16 yr old Khaseen Morris was fatally stabbed. Now 18 yr old Tyler Flach of Lido Beach is facing 2nd degree murder charges. Flach’s arraignment is scheduled for later this morning. @CBSNewYork pic.twitter.com/NWi73Xouh4
— Aundrea Cline-Thomas (@AClineThomas) September 19, 2019
The news of the arrest came as a breath of fresh air for the Morris family, especially his sister Keyanna, who is devastated over the loss of her brother.
“He said, ‘We arrested the person that killed your brother,’ ” said Keyanna. “I broke down crying. Just tears of joy.”
Keyanna says she plans on being at Thursday’s initial appearance and will be following the trial as it continues.
“It’s going to be a long fight, but we’re going to be there every step of the way,” she said.
Investigators say that the fatal stabbing started as a fight over a girl in an Oceanside strip mall parking lot. Students routinely gather in the area before and after school, police say. Khaseen Morris, the victim, was accosted by another student. Police say the assailant was angry that Morris had been involved with one of his ex-girlfriends.
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While Morris didn’t want to fight, he also wasn’t going to run, sources said.
“Yesterday, apparently there was a prearranged type of dispute going on over a young lady,” said Nassau Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick, the commanding officer of the agency’s Homicide Squad. “That dispute boiled over here, where a group of six to seven males charged at the victim and his couple of friends and, during that melee, stabbed him.”
As Morris fell to the sidewalk, bleeding profusely, no one stepped in.
Police were astonished to learn that out of the nearly 70 onlookers, dozens dug out their phones and started recording video instead of stepping in to help.
“Kids stood here and didn’t help Khaseen,” said Lt. Fitzpatrick. “They’d rather video. They videoed his death instead of helping him.”
His family says he was happier than ever just “being himself”, after moving to Oceanside for high school. But yesterday, someone stabbed and killed 16-year old Kahseen Morris, over a girl. Kids shot cell phone video instead of helping him. Horrible. @NassauCountyPD need your help pic.twitter.com/A1t7HnHYry
— Stacey Sager (@staceysager7) September 17, 2019
“The individuals who are responsible for this, if you’re not a part and parcel to the murder of Khaseen Morris, now’s the time to get in touch with us and let us know who did this and why,” said Fitzpatrick. “If you were just coming here and thinking you were fighting, and then he got stabbed during that, you need to be out in front of that. After I put handcuffs on you, that ship has sailed.”
Keyanna says she knew that her younger brother had been getting threatening messages from the girl’s ex-boyfriend.
Update on the stabbing at an Oceanside strip mall: https://t.co/O75kC4jP1k
— Antonio Planas (@AntonioPlanas1) September 17, 2019
She says the entire thing seemed to spark over a misunderstanding.
“He told me that someone was threatening him,” said Keyanna. “But he’s like, ‘I’m not worried about it. I told him, I don’t want anything … I don’t want your girl. It’s nothing like that. I just walked her home.’ ”
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