A gang of men unleashed a hail of bullets, shooting into a residential Queens party late Friday night, which prompted detectives to return fire and injure three men, police said.
Members of the NYPD Violent Crime Squad were parked outside 219th Street and 130th Avenue in Laurelton observing a party which they believed had gang connections. The detectives sat in an unmarked car wearing plain clothes, according to Chief of Patrol Jeffery Maddrey when, at 11:35 p.m. on Aug. 5, a group of men arrived and began firing into the event.
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“Now, understand there was about 75 to 100 people at this party and now you have a group of males firing into this group,” Chief Maddrey said during an early morning press conference on Aug. 6. “The detectives saw this, they realized danger was imminent.”
It was reported that the Violent Crime Squad rushed from their vehicle and attempted to stop the mayhem by immediately shooting at the men. After a brief firefight, police brought down three of the men with an array of bullet wounds. All three men were hurried to a local hospital, two of whom are expected to survive. A third man, however, is currently in critical condition.
The detectives were also removed to a medical facility for treatment of severe tinnitus, police said.
Early in the investigation, it wasn’t yet known if any of the revelers were also struck. Well after sunrise Saturday, Crime Scene Unit detectives were still canvassing the area for evidence, marking as many as 39 shell casings left in the exchange of bullets.
Two of the men shot were known to the police with criminal histories and three handguns were recovered, according to Maddrey. He said that this latest police involved shooting underscores the scourge of gun violence plaguing the city and the desperate need for citizens to communicate with police.
“These details really illustrate how gun violence plagues our communities and I implore members of our community — it is so important to work together with your police so we can put an end to this gun violence,” Maddrey said.
Police recovered three firearms in the aftermath of the shooting.
Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
All calls are strictly confidential.