Brooklyn Eastern District courthouse

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Steven Bynum was sentenced to 18 years in prison for possessing, brandishing, and shooting a firearm in furtherance of a drug distribution conspiracy. 

On September 10, 2017, Bynum shot a handgun into a group of people, wounding a pregnant innocent bystander.

Bynum plead guilty to the charges in February 2020, and today, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the shooting. 

“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,” said Breon Peace, United States attorney for the eastern district of New York. 

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 fired multiple shots from an illegally possessed 9mm handgun at the group. The 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 injuries.

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.

“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 John B. Devito, ATF special agent-in-charge.

“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,” Devito continued.   

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.

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