Police are investigating a shooting in Queens after a man was found wounded on 73rd Street and 19th Avenue — one block from Bensonhurst’s annual 18th Avenue Feast.
The victim, who was shot in the hand and back, was rushed to Lutheran Hospital at 8:15pm Sunday night after asking a neighbor for help, police said. Initially the man told cops the gunshots happened on 19th Avenue, but law enforcement officials say no shots were heard, and have connected the incident to a shooting in Queens an hour earlier.
At 7pm on Sunday, a Hispanic male suspect fired five or six shot at an unidentifiable man in Jackson Heights, causing injury, cops said. The victim, who authorities say is from Bensonhurst, was seen fleeing the scene in a white livery cab. He is expected to survive.
As police vehicles and officers flooded the intersection late last night, a portion of 73rd Street was taped off and some residents were prohibited from leaving their homes while cops searched the area for weapons or bullet casings. One block over, the Feast of Santa Rosalia continued as usual until 11pm.
Long-time neighbors, having heard rumors of a shooting, expressed shock and disbelief that the violence would occur in one of Brooklyn’s safest neighborhoods, just steps from Bensonhurst’s iconic festival.
“My mother-in-law can’t leave the block. She called me crying,” said a 73rd Street resident who identified himself only as Larry. “I’ve been here 20 years and I’ve never seen anything like this. I’ve got four kids out, man, I’m worried about my kids coming home.”
Some said the police presence and caution tape conjured memories of another horrific crime that rocked the quiet, residential neighborhood 26 years ago.
“I’m here 55 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this — all these cops everywhere,” said 74th Street resident Bonnie Bonfiglio, who encountered police tape as she walked with her husband to the Feast. “I haven’t seen this since the Al Sharpton marches, after the murder of Yusef Hawkins. We’re just shocked.”
No arrests have been made and an investigation is ongoing, according to police.