Three people have been arrested on murder charges in connection with last week’s shooting death of city resident Lasean Gause, police said Wednesday.
The shooting, authorities now believe, was intended for someone else. One of the suspects is 16 years old.
News of the arrests came on the day Gause would have turned 20 years old. Friends and family of the victim gathered at the Stanley Street residence he shared with his mother and younger siblings to mark a day that should have been joyous.
Gause’s mother, Aisha Persha, on Wednesday evening said she was thankful for the attention the police department gave the case and the quick arrests in her son’s murder.
But what she really wants investigators can’t provide.
“To some people it might be closure,” Persha said, five birthday balloons swaying in the breeze from the stair railings. “But to me, it’s not. I just want my son back.”
Charged Wednesday with Gause’s killing were Myliek T. Lebron, 23, of Schenectady; Joshua Sayles, 20, of Henry Street; and Kasheef James, 16, of Albany Street.
All three face one count each of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, police said.
Gause was shot and killed late June 29 outside the Zaid Food Market at 807 Albany St.
Gause, authorities now believe, was not the intended target, Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said.
Police on Wednesday night said that the three suspects were in a car that drove up to the scene, and that the shot that killed Gause was fired from the car. Gause was hit in the chest and later died.
Gause was one of five or six people outside the store when the shooter opened fire, Carney said.
Lebron, who was the first to be arrested, appeared Wednesday afternoon in Schenectady City Court for his arraignment with his appointed attorney, Schenectady County Public Defender Stephen Signore.
Court paperwork filed in Lebron’s case accuses him of firing the shot that killed Gause and also possessing the 9mm handgun used. Paperwork also lists Lebron’s intent as “to cause the death of another person.”
Court paperwork in the cases of Sayles and James was not available late Wednesday.
The scene of the shooting is flanked by at least two street surveillance cameras, one at Albany and Hulett streets, the other at Albany and Craig streets.
Court paperwork indicated the charges against Lebron were based on witness statements, Lebron’s own statements and surveillance video evidence.
Asked about the street cameras, Carney declined to say whether they caught the shooting, but said “as we have seen time and time again, they were extremely helpful.”
A short distance from the shooting scene, a large memorial to Gause has sprung up in the nine days since he was killed.
Gause has been remembered by his mother as a good kid who loved football. He lived with his mother and younger siblings on Hamilton Hill. The family is originally from New Jersey.
His mother said he got good grades, graduating from Schenectady High School. He hadn’t worked recently, but had previously worked at Burger King and Hannaford. He had hopes of attending college this fall, she said.
Services for Gause are scheduled for this afternoon at Light’s Funeral Home, his mother said. Viewing is scheduled for 1 to 3 p.m., services from 3 to 5.
Persha said she didn’t know what to say about those arrested because, “they are going to lose their lives, also.” If convicted of the murder counts, they each would face up to 25 years to life in prison.
“It’s sad because innocent people get hurt behind this stuff,” Persha said. “My son was a shining star. He didn’t deserve this.”
She said the police work on the case means a lot to her. She said city police Detective Peter Forth visited her with the news of the arrests.
“I had a feeling that he was going to make sure that he took care of it,” she said, “and I was very happy with him this morning when he came and told me.
“I told him to go and thank the whole police station and everybody down there for doing it so quickly,” she added. “I’m thankful for it all, but I still want my son back.”
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: