Members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation gathered at the East Gate Road entrance of the Saturday morning to mourn two fellow Shinnecocks who died during a predawn one-car crash there.
The driver, Jason "Tek" King, 33, and passenger Duane "D.L." White, 22, were pronounced dead at the scene. Two other passengers, Awan J. Gumbs, 31, and Brian N. Bess Jr., 18, are hospitalized with multiple non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.
Emotions were running high at the vigil Saturday morning, on Southampton Village property just outside the reservation. Mary McKenzie, a reporter for News 12, and camerawoman Elizabeth Sagarin said that when they attempted to film the vigil, an attendee threw their tripod, breaking it, someone threw a glass that broke, and a man fired a pistol into the air multiple times.
A few minutes later, another round of shots was heard — this time further away from the vigil.
Sometime after the incident, a New York State trooper parked on East Gate Road, blocking the entrance to the reservation.
An attendee of the vigil told Patch reporters not to take photos or to watch from a distance.
that at 2:23 a.m. a village police officer on patrol discovered the crash, in which a 2009 Lexus GS350 struck a tree. Det. Sgt. Herman Lamison said speed was a contributing factor.
Lamison said that one of the surviving passengers had gotten out of the vehicle himself, while the other was still inside upon police arrival. The responded to assist in extricating the occupants, while members of the and the provided medical assistance, police said, adding that New York State and Southampton Town police assisted as well.
Gumbs was taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital in East Patchogue and Bess was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center.
Lamison said that adding to tensions on the reservation this week was another car accident, on Sunrise Highway, involving a Shinnecock who was seriously injured. "Emotions are running very high down there," he said.
Lamison himself knew victims — he was White's basketball coach and they played ball together just three weeks ago, he said. "Any time it's someone you know, it become emotional."
King was a member of the Tribal Council and former vice chairman. He was also a member of a Warrior Society and co-founder of the Young Men of Shinnecock program. He was a fashion designer with a line called Evitan Couture.
Gumbs is son of Shinnecock Tribal Trustee Lance Gumbs.
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UPDATE 11:35 a.m.: Tribal leadership address the crowd as mourners continue to file to the site, leaving flowers beneath the tree the Lexus had hit. "Love each other," a speaker told the crowd of about 30. More drumming and singing followed around a fire pit, while mourners consoled one another.
UPDATE: 11:26 a.m.: One mourner fired gunshots into the woods as a cameraman attempted to film the scene, according to an eyewitness. Police were called to the scene. Details are still unclear.
Initial story: Dozens of mourners are gathering at the scene of a tragic car crash in Southampton Village where two members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation were killed in a single car accident after their car hit a tree early Saturday morning.
According to Southampton Village Police Detective Sergeant Herman Lamison, Jason King, 33, and Duane L. White, 22, were killed on Saturday, April 28 at approximately 2:23 a.m. after their car, a 2009 Lexus GS350 struck a tree on East Gate Road, just off Hill Street, at the entrance to the Shinnecock Indian Reservation. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
A Southampton Village police officer patrolling the area discovered the single vehicle crash. Also in the vehicle, which was operated by King, were Awan J. Gumbs, 31, and Brian N. Bess, Jr., 18, also members of the Shinnecock Indian Nation of Southampton.
Gumbs was transported to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital and Bess Jr. was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center. Both are reported to be in stable condition with multiple, non-life-threatening injuries.
Members of the Southampton Village Fire Department responded to assist, as did the Southampton Village Volunteer Ambulance and the Southampton Volunteer Ambulance, the New York State Police and Southampton Town Police.
Mourners at the scene are drumming and chanting, sharing their sorrow over the tragedy.
An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the crash.