Ricardo Laing, a 25-year-old from White Plains, pleaded guilty on Thursday to shooting into a crowd after a basketball game at Rucker Park in July 2012.
The shooting broke out during a argument between fans of two teams competing in the annual Entertainment Basketball Classic. Five people were wounded. Laing copped to charges of first degree assault and second degree criminal possession of a weapon, both felonies.
“Harlem’s Rucker Park is an iconic location for basketball fans worldwide,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement “Unfortunately for the hundreds in attendance on July 25, 2012, Ricardo Laing brought a gun to the game and fired wildly into the crowd, injuring five bystanders who luckily did not lose their lives.”
Not long after the incident, somebody posted footage of the chaos on World Star Hip Hop.
“A dispute broke out, a fight, someone was punched as a result of the heckling,” then-Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told news outlets.
“They started arguing, about a bad call or something like that,” one witness, Rodney Harris, told the Daily News at the time. “The guy was standing no more than five feet away from me. He pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot once. He then shot one more time. Everyone started running.”
The shooting was particularity notable because of Rucker Park’s reputation for safety. Security guards pat down spectators before they enter the park. Police maintain a constant presence. Scores of NBA stars have hooped on the legendary court. Former-New York Knick Nate Robinson was among those in the crowd on the night of the shooting.
Laing is scheduled for sentencing on February 13.