A reputed Crips gang member nearly executed an FBI agent in cold blood on a Brooklyn street, federal prosecutors said in court papers Monday.
The alleged gunman, Ronnell Watson, blocked in the undercover agent’s car and then opened fire as he tried to drive away, according to a criminal complaint.
Hit in the shoulder, the agent was nonetheless able to return fire and wound Watson—who then ditched his bullet-ridden car at an auto-body shop and rushed to a local hospital, where he told cops he had been an innocent bystander to a gunfight.
Watson, however, made the mistake of phoning his girlfriend, Molissa Gangapersad, and telling her to “get the jewelry and get rid of it”—a directive overheard by officers at the hospital, according to court papers.
At the couple’s home, investigators found a large amount of jewelry, along with $15,000 and 1.5 pounds of marijuana, prosecutors said in a letter requesting that Watson be held without bail.
Although the court documents did not say why the agent was parked near Watson’s home, he is a known gang member with 11 arrests on his record for drugs and grand larceny.
“Though the government is not currently aware of any criminal convictions, the brazenness and the precision of the attack in the case strongly suggests that the defendant is familiar with firearms and has utilized them before,” prosecutors wrote.
According to the narrative provided by prosecutors, Watson drove the wrong way up the quiet street on Saturday afternoon and parked his BMW in front of the agent’s car, then strode up to the driver’s side door with his hand in his hooded sweatshirt before suddenly shooting.
“Fortunately, the victim in this case was an armed law enforcement officer who was able to defend himself,” the prosecutors’ letter said. “But for his training, experience, and quick reaction to drive away and return fire, the agent could have easily been killed.”
Authorities said they have video of Watson “aggressively shooting at the agent,” along with video of him dropping off the car at the auto body shop with a wounded hand and then being driven away and to the hospital with that hand bandaged up.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Tiscione ordered Watson, 31, held without bail while he released Gangapersad, 30, who is charged with making false statements, on $500,000 bond.
Watson has a public defender who could not be reached for comment.