STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — For years, Staten Island standoff suspect Garland “Si” Tyree and Shanduke Mcphatter both controlled notorious street crews. Today, Mcphatter’s life is different. He runs a non-profit that helps teenagers leave gang life. There’s one person he couldn’t save.
“We can’t sugarcoat who he was and I won’t do that,” Shanduke Mcphatter said. “Si was the godfather of the 9trey gangsters. I was a part of that with him so I know his history, the first adolescent Bloods so we’re talking about 1993-1994 he’s etched in the history of New York City.”
Friday afternoon, Tyree died in a hail of bullets. The scene unfolded after U.S. Marshals showed up to take him back to prison. It’s alleged the career criminal violated federal parole.
“He probably, at that point, was at the breaking level when they came to his house and he just didnt care anymore,” Mcphatter said.
The NYPD say Tyree set off a smoke bomb, then shot FDNY Lt. James Hayes , then barricaded himself in an apartment, and finally came out guns blazing.
“As a gangster, you have to realize that he chose his path,” Mcphatter said. “That his options was open the door and let them, go back to jail or choose the path that he chose and he chose his path.”
On Facebook, Instagram and even in a novel, Tyree chronicled the highs and lows of New York City gang life. Over 300 currently operate throughout the five boroughs.
“I think a lot of people would be suprised, becasue we’re not just in the gang state of mind the gang lifestlye — theres cliques, crews,” Mcphatter said. “That’s the problem, because so much has happened, there is no order, there is no order there are no principles.”
Mcphatter knows firsthand, leaving one of these groups can be deadly. The rule was once Blood in, blood out. Many gangs no longer work that way, but still “it’s not that easy because you took an oath you took a pledge that you believe in something,” Mcphatter said.
Just two months ago, Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed an uptick in shootings and murders in New York on gang on-gang violence. Tyree’s mother, Purcell Tyree, said her son became a Blood once he was on Rikers – to save his own life.