NEW YORK — Ten people were wounded when a pair of gunmen fired more than 40 shots down a Queens street in a brazen gang-related shooting, police said Sunday.
The barrage of bullets on 37th Avenue near 99th Street in North Corona kicked off a bloody night in the city, where 18 people were either killed or wounded in seven separate shootings, police said.
The masked and hooded Queens gunmen, who were being trailed by two men on scooters, walked down 37th Avenue about 10:40 p.m. and began firing, NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said.
“The two males immediately extended their arms and began firing in the direction of a group at a barber shop,” Essig said. “This is a brazen, coordinated attack.”
More than 40 shots were fired, hitting the group outside the barber shop as well as innocent bystanders walking down the street and people celebrating a birthday party for a nearby restaurant owner, Essig said.
Eight men and two women were hit by gunfire, officials said. Once the gun smoke cleared, the two shooters hopped onto the backs of the scooters and sped off.
Their victims ranged from 19 to 72 years old, Essig said. All were rushed to area hospitals and were expected to survive.
Police believe the two were aiming at three Trinitarios gang members standing outside the barber shop. All the other victims were collateral damage, Essig said.
The most seriously wounded victim was a 21-year-old man, believed to be a Trinitarios member, who was shot in the stomach, officials said.
The 72-year-old woman was shot in the left leg, a 50-year-old man was shot in the right leg, a 40-year-old woman was shot in the right foot, a 39-year-old man was hit in the right leg and a 19-year-old man hit in the right ear, cops said.
Teresa Asitimbay, 42, who runs a restaurant nearby, said the area is plagued by violence and trouble. When she closes up shop, she said, she makes sure to avoid walking through the area.
“There’s a lot of drinking, a lot of people asleep in the street. On the weekends it’s crazy,” she said.
A customer told her that a fight was brewing earlier in the evening, Astimbay said. “My customer, he said something is not right over there.”
Surveillance cameras caught some of the violence.
“It’s pretty disturbing,” Essig said of the footage. “Two guys just stick their arms out and walk down a very crowded street at 10:30 at night where there’s parties going on, restaurants going on, crowded streets.
“There’s just one common theme here that’s a recurring theme and it has to stop,” Essig said. “That’s gang members, that’s guns, scooters being used, masks and unintended targets.
“This is unacceptable in the streets of New York City and it has to stop,” he said.
Around 11:10 p.m. — about a half-hour after the Queens incident — three women, all innocent bystanders, were wounded when two groups opened fire on each other in Manhattan, on Audubon Ave. near W. 182nd St. in Washington Heights.
The victims included a 78-year-old woman shot in the hand, a 58-year-old woman shot in the leg and a 42-year-old woman who was grazed in the left arm.
Twelve bullet casings were found at the scene, cops said.
Between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. five more people were shot in separate incidents in Brooklyn. Two of those victims died of their wounds, including a 32-year-old man repeatedly shot in the torso as he sat in his car on Ralph Ave. in Canarsie at 4:30 a.m.
Police believe two gunmen approached the Canarsie victim, Eirvin Monroe, who lived about a half-mile away from where he was killed.
A second man, 26, was shot in the chest during an unrelated drive-by shooting near Sterling and Utica avenues in Crown Heights, cops said. He later died at Kings County Hospital.
As of Saturday night, 1,056 people have been hit by gunfire this year in 898 incidents — a 12% jump over the 938 people shot the same time last year, officials said.
Cops released the video of the Queens shooters in the hopes someone can identify them.
“They know the area, that’s why they’re wearing masks,” said NYPD Chief of Patrol Juanita Holmes. “But someone is going to see that video and say ‘Oh, I know that clothing’ or ‘I know so-and-so walks that way.’”
Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to call NYPD Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.