According to America’s Most Wanted, Carlos “Zoo” Thompson, 32, was an affiliate with The Diplomats who traveled with the group as security.
A nationwide manhunt is now underway for Thompson, who is accused of giving 13-year-old L’Mani Delima a gun in 2005 and ordering him to shoot 15-year-old Phoenix Garrett, for selling Diplomat CD’s on the street.
The teen and the older man were involved in an altercation that resulted in the teen slashing Thompson’s face with a boxcutter.
As Garrett was being beaten, another associate went to a nearby vehicle and recovered a .38 caliber handgun.
While Garrett managed to break free of the assault, several teens chased him down and the 13-year-old Delima shot Garrett five times, allegedly upon Thompson’s orders.
NYPD Detective B.A. DeLeon labeled the killing as a “contract hit.” “When you tell somebody to get your gun, your intention is not to just go play cops and robbers. Your intention is to kill,” DeLeon said.
“He wanted to steer his own ship,” Phoenix’s father, James Garrett told AMW. “He liked rap music. We used to have a lot of discussions about rap music, because I thought some of it was inappropriate…I have to live the rest of my life being what I call the walking dead. There’s not a moment, not a second, that I’m not thinking of my son. They talk about a broken heart. I never understood that term until they killed my son. Then, my heart was broken, and broken forever.”
The 13-year-old shooter was apprehended by a police lieutenant at the scene, who almost shot and killed the teen.
“If that man had killed that boy, there would have been marches against police brutality,” James claimed. “And everybody would have forgotten about Phoenix. Instead, this lieutenant avoided violence, and saved another child’s life.”
Police believe Thompson’s time on the lam could be funded by unnamed members of the Hip-Hop community, as well as unnamed drug dealers.
NYPD Detective Joseph Condello said that Thompson is into money and luxury cars.
“We heard that he was at a club in Manhattan in a Porsche convertible,” Condello said. “Another time, we learned he was at an airport in a Cadillac Escalade But he never drives. He’s worried about being pulled over. So in his travels, he’s the passenger.”
Delima has already been convicted of Garrett’s murder and will be sentenced next month.