Brooklyn teenage stabbing suspect Brian Dowling, 18, looks downcast as he appears in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit in court – as his pastor claims he suffered ‘traumatic event’ before slaying community activist
The Brooklyn teenager accused of brutally stabbing a community activist to death has appeared in court after being charged with first-degree murder.
Brian Dowling, 18, looked downcast as he stood in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit for a brief hearing at Kings County Superior Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
He was joined by dozens of friends and family in and out of the courtroom as a judge referred his case to the Supreme Court for execution.
The teenager is accused of stabbing 32-year-old Ryan Thoresen Carson to death at a New York City bus stop at 3:45 a.m. last Monday.
The brutal attack was caught on video and shows the victim’s dying moments with his horrified girlfriend after he was stabbed in the chest.
Dowling was arrested at his family home in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Thursday evening and was crying as he walked out of the premises.
The Brooklyn teenager accused of brutally stabbing a community activist to death appeared in court after being charged with first-degree murder
Ryan Thoresen Carson (32) died while waiting for a bus
Dowling’s pretrial hearing Wednesday was packed with dozens of family members and friends, including Pastor Mitchell Still.
The pastor told DailyMail.com outside the courtroom that the teenager had gone through a ‘traumatic event’ shortly before the murder, but did not want to reveal more.
He said Dowling’s parents are Pentecostal Christians – his father a Jehovah’s Witness – and the teenager ‘knows God’.
He described himself as Dowling’s ‘spiritual guide’ since he was a baby, and revealed that the boy had been through a ‘traumatic event’ before the knife.
Brian Dowling, 18, looked downcast as he stood in handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit for a brief hearing at Kings County Superior Court in Brooklyn on Wednesday
He was joined by dozens of friends and family in and out of the courtroom as a judge referred his case to the Supreme Court for execution
The teenager is accused of stabbing 32-year-old Ryan Thoresen Carson to death at a bus stop in New York City at 3:45 a.m. last Monday.
“He went through something traumatic,” Pastor Mitchell said. ‘He was not himself. It’s not him at all.
‘The child we know is an obedient, pretty respectful child. I can look into his eyes and tell that something just isn’t right.
‘We are just praying for him at this time, hoping that God will show him another way. But we understand that a life has been lost. So we mourn both, at this time.’
Clinton Wynn, a close friend of the family, added: ‘He’s a good kid. Very humble.’
At Dowling’s trial, the judge sent his case to the Supreme Court for indictment, at a date to be confirmed.
His parents, who wore COVID face coverings during the hearing, appeared tearful as they watched their son stand in handcuffs.
They declined to speak when approached by DailyMail.com, and their son’s lawyer Kenneth Montgomery said: ‘It’s a tragic situation.’
His parents, who wore COVID face coverings during the hearing, appeared tearful as they watched their son stand in handcuffs
The family declined to speak when approached by DailyMail.com, with their son’s lawyer Kenneth Montgomery saying: ‘It’s a tragic situation.’
Last week, the suspect’s father Brian Dowling Sr told DailyMail.com that he could not explain his son’s actions
Last week, the suspect’s father, Brian Dowling Sr., told DailyMail.com that he could not explain his son’s actions.
‘Let’s be honest here. What can I really tell you. I can’t tell you,” he says, speaking outside the brownstone the family lives in, which he inherited from his father.
With the historically black neighborhood rapidly deteriorating, the property is now worth more than $1.25 million — though it’s unclear whether the Dowlings own it, or rent it.
Eric Riddick, 58, a close friend of Dowling’s father, Brian Sr., said the Dowlings were “a good family,” adding that he had been friends with them for more than 35 years.
Brian Sr. was best man at Riddick’s wedding. “It’s a terrible tragedy because the boy comes from a good family,” Riddick told DailyMail.com.
‘I can’t think of anything that I can say why he went that way, or what prompted him to go that way.
‘The child is only 18 years old. And I really feel for the victim’s family.’ Riddick said he wants the court to order a psychiatric evaluation.
“I want them to check his mental state,” Riddick says. ‘It wasn’t the norm. He’s a teenager.’
Dowling (left) is tearfully marched out of the 81st Precinct in Bedford Stuyvesant on Thursday after his arrest for the murder of Ryan Thoresen Carson (right)
Brian Dowling Sr., speaking outside the family brownstone in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, said he had no answers for his son’s actions.
The teenager was a twin, and his sister Breanna was with him when he attacked Carson.
Friends of Breanna Dowling, who arrived at the family home on Thursday, told DailyMail.com they were ‘shocked’ and said Dowling had mental health issues.
Riddick said Dowling was his friend’s only son, adding: ‘I was with him when his children were born – Brian and Breanna.
“I can’t imagine—and it happened down the block, and was so close to home.” Riddick said it was “a bad situation,” but insisted Dowling was not a troublemaker.
“He wasn’t the type of kid who followed,” Riddick says. ‘He kept to himself and was quiet. He never had any altercations.’
Riddick said Dowling Sr was a musician with a band called Divine Sounds before his children were born, explaining: ‘We come from music history.
‘We made records. We DJ and make songs. The father is part of the group. “These records were made before the boy was born.”
Carson, the victim, was an advocate for social justice. He spearheaded liberal causes such as creating supervised drug injection sites across the city.
The teenager was dressed in shorts, a t-shirt and slides as he walked the perp last week
His girlfriend, according to now-locked social media profiles, was an avid BLM activist who was highly critical of the police and used the insult ‘ACAB’ in posts.
Their friends say he would view his killer as the ‘victim of a broken system’ and want his death to be used to continue advocating for social justice.
Friends set up a GoFundMe account for Carson’s girlfriend on Wednesday. They have raised $60,000 so far.
It remains unclear what prompted Dowling to attack. He was seen in the video first walking past Carson, before turning back.
Carson was filmed punching him several times in the chest before the first strike of the knife. At the end of the video, an unidentified woman shouted ‘Brian!’ shouted. as he fled.
One neighbor outside the home said they believed Dowling was under the influence of drugs, while some questioned why Carson engaged him.
‘I watched the video this morning it makes me sick to my stomach. I was on that corner, but certainly not at 3:45 in the morning. I know better than that,” Sarah Walker (31) said.
‘I feel sad and bad but certainly wouldn’t have intervened in any kind of situation like that just to know what was happening in the neighbourhood.
‘People tell you – born and raised in the area – just don’t make eye contact with people, especially at 3.45am. “I would have walked across the street.”