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Two Shinnecocks Killed in Crash; Mourners Lash Out at Media, Gun Fired in Air at Vigil

Two other passengers in single-car crash suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Latest Update:

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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Previously:

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.

WR May 02, 2012 at 01:00 AM
NYS Troopers
FAMILY FRIEND May 02, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE PEOPLE GET THE NERVE TO SAY THE HATEFUL THINGS THEY SAY. ITS TIMES LIKE THESE THAT YOU SEE WHO PEOPLE REALLY ARE. IN YOU REALIZE THAT THAY ARE NOFACTORS ANYWAY. MY LOVE GOES OUT TO ALL THE FAMILY IN FREINDS OF THE ONES LOST. WE DIDNT JUST LOOSE SOME GREAT MEN WE GAINED TWO ANGELS R.I.P.....
DREATRAXXTHEPRODUCER May 03, 2012 at 08:27 PM
I LOVE YOU MY DEAR FRIEND FIVE TOWNS COLLEGE FOR LIFE BOII BOII . U KNOW I GOT A RADIO SHOW RIGHT TEK? AND GUESS WHAT IM DEDICATING THIS FRIDAY NIGHTS AND NEXT FRIDAYS SHOW TO U.. NOW WE ALL KNOW HOW U LOVED BIGGIE YEA YEA KIYA WAS TELLING ME..LOL WWW.URBANLATINORADIO.COM BEYOND THE MUSIC SHOW FRIDAY NIGHTS 8-10PM (EST) ONE LOVE KING!
RicardoGamble May 04, 2012 at 06:06 AM
To my young shinnecock warriors whom was taken by the great creator, My tears flow with pain, always will remember u guys, and to the others heal well, my prayers TO ALL THE FAMILIES, GOD BE YOUR LIGHT, AND STENGTH. WOLFCRI.
Native Queen May 11, 2012 at 06:03 PM
SORRY BUT JASON DID NOT HAVE A DAUGHTER, GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT PLEASE

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