A gunman killed one person and wounded three others on Saturday as he rode a scooter through Brooklyn and Queens, randomly shooting into groups of people and into stores in a chaotic two-hour stretch before police arrested him, the New York Police Department said.
The 25-year-old gunman, whose name has not been released by authorities, began his rampage around 11 a.m. in Brooklyn where he shot a 21-year-old man in the left shoulder from behind, prompting officers to respond to the scene nearby. the corner of Ashford Street and Arlington Avenue, Joseph Kenny, assistant chief at the detective bureau, said in a press conference.
Seventeen minutes later, a report came in of another shooting, this time in Queens, that mirrored the one in Brooklyn, Chief Kenny said: a man on a scooter firing a gun.
In the second attack, the gunman fatally shot an 87-year-old man near a nail salon on Jamaica Avenue near the Richmond Hills section of Queens, police said.
A motive for the shooting remained unclear Saturday, although the attacks appeared to be random, Chief Kenny said, noting that the demographics of the victims were all different.
After the police realized that the first two shootings were possibly connected, officers began a widespread search for the attacker, the acting police commissioner, Edward A. Caban, said at the news conference.
As officers responded to the homicide, they were alerted to a third shooting at a store in Queens.
No one was hit, but witnesses described to police how a man on a scooter fired randomly at a group of people standing on a corner on Jamaica Avenue, Chief Kenny said.
At about 11:35 a.m., eight minutes after the third shooting, the gunman shot a 44-year-old man in the cheek, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital and was in critical condition Saturday evening, Chief Kenny said.
Less than a minute later, the gunman shot a 63-year-old man in his right shoulder, Chief Kenny said, adding that the victim was hospitalized and in stable condition.
The names of the victims have not been released.
Witnesses again described how the attacker shot while riding a scooter, police said.
The gunman, who has one prior arrest in New York, was found by officers at the corner of Sutphin Boulevard and 94th Avenue in Queens and arrested at 1:10 p.m., Chief Kenny said. Officers recovered a 9-millimeter handgun and an extended magazine from the gunman, police said.
Video of the shootings shows the gunman wasn’t targeting or following anyone — just riding his scooter and randomly shooting in about a six-mile stretch of the city, Chief Kenny said.
Marisol Yepes, a 17-year-old technician at Zol Nails on Jamaica Avenue, said she was working in the salon when she and her co-workers heard what she believed to be “fireworks because it wasn’t as loud as a gunshot would normally sound.”
They went outside and saw a man on the sidewalk, bleeding, Ms. Yepes said.
Ms. Yepes said the windows of May’s Beauty, a store across the street, were shattered by gunfire.
Security cameras at Zoom Zoom Wireless, a cell phone store across the intersection from May’s Beauty, captured footage of the shooting, according to the store’s owner, Jasvir Singh.
He said the footage shows how the suspect “turned around” and then loaded his gun and “just started shooting randomly” at two people.
The shooting came days after Commissioner Caban outlined in a news conference how shootings in New York City were down about 25 percent during the first half of this year compared to the same period last year, extending a downward trend after a spike in violent crime. during the pandemic.
The drop, which mirrored similar declines across the United States, came amid widespread fears about crime in the city, which officials blamed for keeping workers and suburbanites holed up in their homes.