Ten people were shot Saturday night in Queens in what police officials described on Sunday in an apparently coordinated assault tied to local gang activity.
Police sources said the gunfire erupted at about 10:38 p.m. on July 31 in front of a laundromat near the corner of 99th Street and 37th Avenue in Corona.
Though the investigation into the matter remains just hours old, Chief of Detectives James Essig told members of the press at an Aug. 1 press conference that one common theme emerged: the shooting appears to have been a well-executed plan carried out by local street gang members.
Three of the 10 victims had ties to the Trinitarios gang, and were believed to have been the shooters’ intended targets, according to Essig. But the assault also left seven other people unconnected to the gang activity injured; they just happened to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“This was a brazen, coordinated attack, for lack of a better word,” Essig said.
Law enforcement sources said the four suspects, all male, arrived on the scene at about 10:40 p.m. on July 31, turning eastbound onto 37th Avenue from 97th Street. According to Essig, the two shooters approached the location on foot, with two others following them from behind on mopeds.
All of them wore masks and hooded sweatshirts to make it difficult for witnesses to identify them.
“Two males immediately extend their arms and begin firing in the direction of a group in front of a barber shop,” Essig reported. The shooters are hit individuals gathered at a nearby restaurant for a party, as well as outside a laundromat.
After the shooting, the shooters hopped aboard the suspects’ moped and fled the scene in an unknown direction. Police have obtained and released footage from nearby security cameras showing the gunmen going on the attack, and their getaway.
Officers from the 115th Precinct and EMS units responded to the shooting. EMS brought the victims to Elmhurst and NewYork-Presbyterian Queens hospitals for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening.
The unintended targets ranged in age from 19 to 72. The most seriously injured of them was an individual who took a bullet to the stomach, Essig noted.
Thus far, crime scene detectives have recovered at least 40 pieces of ballistic evidence, including shell casings and deformed bullets.
Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes said that footage will be critical toward solving the case.
“Someone’s gonna see that video” and recognize the individuals involved in the shooting, Holmes said. “That’s why we are appealing to the public. Our biggest asset is the public when it comes to solving crimes like this.”
Anyone with information regarding the shooting can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at nypdcrimestoppers.com, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.
This story was updated on Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m.