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Bronx man pleads not guilty to murder charge in Garden City restaurant shooting

Tyshaun Phillips, 21, of the Bronx, is led out of Nassau County police headquarters after being charged with second-degree murder.
Tyshaun Phillips, 21, of the Bronx, is led out of Nassau County police headquarters after being charged with second-degree murder.
Photo Credit: Mike Balsamo/

Nassau County police said a man shot in a Garden City restaurant has died of his injuries and detectives have now charged a Bronx man with murder in connection with the double shooting, according to a March 27 police news release.

Tyshaun Phillips, 21, was held without bail Thursday morning after appearing before Judge Tricia Ferell at Nassau First District Court in Hempstead. He would not answer any questions as detectives led him out of Nassau County police headquarters after he was processed on a second-degree murder charge.

Police said Phillips was at Mint, a restaurant on Ring Road in Garden City at 3:26 a.m. on March 16, when he allegedly pulled out a handgun and fired several gunshots into a crowd of people.

Twenty-one-year-old Emmanuel Barnett, of Cambria Heights, Queens, was shot in the head and later died of his injuries. Police said he was identified on March 22 following an investigation by the Nassau County medical examiner’s office, but homicide investigators did not say when Barnett succumbed to his injuries.

Barnett’s family members, including his parents and four sisters, were in the courtroom for the arraignment. “I’m trying my best to cope with what happened,” his mother, Carman Johnson, said. “My son is one of the most wonderful people you’d ever meet. He didn’t deserve what happened to him.”

Barnett’s eldest sister, Jesenia Sealey, 39, said her brother grew up in Brooklyn and was a studying electrical engineering at Queensborough Community College.

“I miss my baby brother so much,” she said outside the courtroom.

Investigators believe some type of altercation preceded the shooting, but declined to provide further details about a possible motive. Phillip’s lawyer, Ronald Nir, said there was no mention of an altercation in court papers and said he wasn’t even sure if Phillips was in the restaurant at the time of the shooting. 

“There’s insufficient evidence at this point,” he said. “I don’t know that the parties knew each other, I don’t know that there was any incident and I don’t know that my client was involved.”

Police said a 23-year-old man was also struck by gunfire in the restaurant. At the time of the incident, he was taken to a local hospital and admitted in stable condition with a leg injury, authorities said. The condition of the man – whose identity was withheld by police – was unknown Thursday.

Prosecutors said Phillips is currently on parole after a prior stint in state prison. Records show Phillips was convicted on a charge of third-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance in Queens and has been on parole since July 2013.

Homicide detectives said they are still investigating and believe additional charges against Phillips may be forthcoming, as prosecutors present the case to a grand jury.

Phillips is due back in court on March 31.

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