Gang-bangers get hard time in shooting

2 involved in '04 assault on S. Phila. man

David Brown and Naheem White, convicted of attempted murder in the random shooting of a then-45-year-old man in South Philadelphia three years ago, were members of a gang called Kannons Only, a prosecutor said yesterday at their sentencings in Common Pleas Court.

Assistant District Attorney Bridget Kirn asked Judge Rosalyn Robinson to send a message to the city by giving Brown, 21, and White, 24, lengthy sentences for the coldblooded shooting of Calogero Tafuri as he was walking to his father's house for coffee and a chat.

The judge handed sentences in between what the prosecutor and defense attorneys had requested. Brown, the shooter, who lived in the Wilson Park public-housing project in South Philadelphia, got 20 to 41 years. The rotund thug frequently smiled at family and friends in the gallery.

White, an accomplice, who lived near Brown, received 15 to 30 years. He showed no emotion.

Both were convicted in a January jury trial of attempted murder, aggravated assault and conspiracy. Brown also was convicted of weapons offenses.

Kirn yesterday argued that both men were members of the Kannons Only gang and had matching tattoos: the word, "Kannons," on one hand and "Only" on the other hand.

Police Officer Steven Gormley testified that Kannons refers to the "large-caliber" weapons used by members.

Tafuri, who came to South Philadelphia from Sicily in 1973 when he was 14, said afterward: "I'm glad to see them off the street. . . . They got a few years to think about what they did, hopefully to learn from it."

In court, his wife, Donna, read his prepared statement. In it, she said Tafuri's father "blames himself for what happened," because his son was walking to his house when he was shot.

About 8 p.m. March 25, 2004, Tafuri was walking on 27th Street, near McKean, when he was approached from behind by Brown, who shot him in the chest after he fell to the sidewalk. White, who popped up from behind a car, had told Brown to "shoot him." A third man on a bike, who said, "Hey, whitey!" to Tafuri, has not been identified. *