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Fatal stabbing of New York teen amid crowd of youth leads to 7 more arrests

Khaseen Morris, 16, and his friend were attacked after school on Sept. 16 in a strip-mall parking lot. Morris died in the assault that many in the crowd filmed on their cellphones.
Image: Khaseen Morris
Khaseen Morris.WNBC

Seven more teenagers have been arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a high school senior on Long Island.

Haakim Mechan, 19; Marquis Stephens Jr., 18; Javonte Neals, 18; Taj Woodruff, 17; and Sean Merritt, 17, were taken into custody on Friday and charged with second-degree gang assault, authorities said in a news release.

Two 16-year-old boys were also arrested on the same assault charge. Police have not released their names because they are minors.

The suspects, who are all from Long Beach, are expected to be arraigned Saturday.

Khaseen Morris, 16, and his friend were attacked on Sept. 16 in the parking lot of a strip mall in Oceanside, a Long Island community about 30 miles east of Manhattan.

Morris was stabbed in the chest and died. His 17-year-old friend suffered a broken arm and swelling to his head.

Investigators said dozens of onlookers witnessed the melee, but instead of trying to stop it or help the victims some took out their cellphones and recorded it. Footage of the fight was posted on social media, according to police.

“Kids stood here and didn’t help Khaseen,” Nassau County Det. Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick told reporters. “They’d rather video. They videoed his death instead of helping him.”

Fitzpatrick said it appears the attack on Morris and his friend stemmed from a dispute over a girl. Family members told NBC New York that he had a walked a girl home from a party the night before the fight.

"The girl told her ex-boyfriend and said that, 'Oh another boy walked me home,' and she kind of set up this thing to get him jealous," an older sister of Morris told the outlet.

Last week, police arrested another suspect, 18-year-old Tyler Flach. He was charged with second-degree murder and pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday.

Edward Sapone, an attorney for Flach, told NBC News after the arraignment that the teen strongly maintains his innocence and that they have gathered "important details which we will release at the appropriate time."

Morris' family had recently moved to Oceanside from Freeport, another Long Island town. He had just started his senior year of high school at Oceanside High School.