NYC SHOOTINGS: Man slain in possible Brooklyn gang attack; alleged former drug lord gunned down in Harlem

Police personnel respond to a shooting in the Brooklyn borough of New York
REUTERS/Lloyd Mitchell

Two men were shot dead on the streets of Brooklyn and Harlem in separate incidents between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, police reported.

The Harlem shooting victim, published reports indicated, was a former drug kingpin turned federal witness who was apparently assassinated. 

The first incident happened on Saturday in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where a 29-year-old man took a fatal bullet to the head following an apparent dispute that may be connected to gang activity.

Officers from the 83rd Precinct found the mortally wounded victim in front of an apartment house at 248 Stanhope St. at about 5:51 p.m. on Oct. 30 while responding to a 911 call about shots fired at the location. 

Based on a preliminary investigation, police learned that the victim had been involved moments earlier in an argument with two men at a neighborhood cafe. The nature of the dispute was not yet known.

Cops said the victim was shot in the temple at the Stanhope Street location as he was walking back home from the cafe. Police have yet to obtain a description of the shooter.

EMS units rushed the victim to nearby Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. Police have withheld his identity, pending family notification.

Early on Sunday morning, authorities said, Abraham Rodriguez, 55, was murdered while he sat in a pickup truck in Harlem. The Daily News reported that Rodriguez allegedly was a former drug lord in the New York City area who had gone into hiding after turning a witness for the government.

Officers from the 32nd Precinct, in responding to a 911 call of a man shot, found Rodriguez, a Maine resident, with multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, arms and chin inside a parked pick-up truck at the corner of West 147th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard at about 3:24 a.m. on Oct. 31.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the bullet-riddled man was found slumped over in the driver’s seat of a 2017 Dodge Ram with Texas license plates. Detectives are working to piece together how the victim was shot, and are examining nearby camera footage for possible clues.

EMS units brought Rodriguez to Harlem Hospital, where he died.

Investigations into both shootings are ongoing, with no arrests reported as of 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning, law enforcement sources said.

Anyone with information regarding either shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.