NEW YORK – Members of a violent faction of the Latin Kings street gang torched two Brooklyn homes during an internal feud involving a 19-year-old gangster who defied leadership, authorities said Wednesday while announcing an indictment against 18 suspects.
The alleged members of the "Borough Park Homicide Squad" were charged with arson, conspiracy and other counts.
At a news conference, officials with the New York Police Department and Brooklyn District Attorney's office said the trouble began when Juan Kuang clashed with gang leaders and was stripped of his membership.
Prosecutors allege that Kuang struck back by stabbing the brother of a ranking member, Roger Vado. In retaliation, the gang used Molotov cocktails to firebomb homes where Kuang's mother and girlfriend were living in late February and early March, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said.
"This was not the action of kings," Kelly said. "This was the action of cowards."
One of the buildings was destroyed, but people inside both locations managed to escape without injuries.
Kuang was charged separately in the stabbing. His attorney and a lawyer for Vado declined comment.