D.A. Bragg Announces Indictment of Messiah Nantwi for Two Harlem Murders in 27 Hours

May 18, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., announced today the indictment of MESSIAH NANTWI, 21, for shooting and killing two people in Harlem over a period of 27 hours, including on the street in broad daylight and inside a smoke shop on 304 Lenox Avenue the next evening. NANTWI is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with two counts of Murder in the Second Degree and four counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. [1]

“As alleged, Messiah Nantwi murdered two people in a span of 27 hours, and the family and loved ones of these victims are now suffering deep pain and trauma. Gun violence tears at the fabric of our neighborhoods, and I join those mourning the loss of these two men,” said District Attorney Bragg.  

According to court documents and statements made on the record, at approximately 4:40 p.m. on April 8, 2023, at the intersection of East 132nd Street and Madison Avenue, NANTWI opened fire at 19-year-old Jaylen Duncan from close range. After Duncan fell to the ground, NANTWI stood over him and continued shooting, killing him. 

On April 9, 2023, at approximately 7:50 p.m., NANTWI started arguing with 36-year-old Brandon Brunson at a smoke shop on 304 Lenox Avenue. After Brunson made a purchase and turned to leave, NANTWI shot him in the head. Brunson fell to the ground, and when he appeared to move, NANTWI shot him a second time, killing him.
Assistant D.A.s Danielle Turcotte and Matthew Sears are prosecuting the case under the Supervision of Senior Trial Counsel Alfred Peterson, Assistant D.A. Robert Ferrari (Chief of Trial Bureau 40), and Executive Assistant D.A. Lisa DelPizzo (Chief of the Trial Division).

D.A. Bragg thanked NYPD Detective Anthony Ippolito, Police Officer Nelson Gomez, and members of the 25th and 28th Precinct Detective Squads and Manhattan North Homicide Squad for their work in identifying and apprehending NANTWI.

Defendant Information:
Manhattan, New York


  • Murder in the Second Degree, a class A-I felony, two counts
  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, four counts


[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.