Two men were sprayed with gunfire just paces away from South Shore High School last week during a heated argument about — of all things — a dance contest, officials said.
Police said that the gunfire erupted at about 3 p.m. on November 19 at the corner of Flatlands Avenue and East 76th Street.
Their injuries, police said, were not life-threatening.
Witnesses claimed that one of the two young men had been shot in the stomach. The other had suffered a graze wound to the face.
Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, said that the shooting took place across the street from South Shore, but had nothing to do with the school.
The two injured were in their early 20s and were not students, he said.
Classes were just being dismissed when the shooting began.
Investigators said that the two victims were standing outside a McDonald’s near the corner when they began arguing with another group of men.
The two groups had reportedly argued before, over the results of a recent dance competition, although detectives didn’t say when and where the competition took place.
“It was an old rivalry but none of this was planned,” one police source said. “They just happened to meet each other outside the McDonalds.”
When the dispute turned ugly, one of the men in the other group — not the arguing dancer -- pulled a gun and opened fire.
Marmara said that this was the first shooting in Canarsie in five weeks. Last month, only two shootings were investigated.
Yet Canarsie had been plagued with the sound of gunfire over the past year, with at least one shooting taking place every two weeks.
By the end of the summer, Canarsie detectives were investigating jut over 20 shootings for a year. Nearly half of them took place during the summer months, officials said.
At a recent meeting of the 69th Precinct Community Council, Marmara said that nearly all of the shootings could be linked to either gang activity or retaliation attacks.
“We’re trading in these shootings for gun arrests,” he said, adding that his officers had been responsible for 61 gun arrests by mid-October.
Investigators were still looking for the shooting as this paper went to press.
Cops are asking anyone with information regarding Wednesday’s shooting to call the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS or the 69th Precinct detective squad at (718) 257-6315. All calls will be kept confidential.
©2008 Community News Group
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