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The victim of an Oct. 3 shooting inside the violence-prone F1 nightclub in Dyker Heights says that he stared into his assailant’s eyes right before the unknown man pulled a gun and shot him in the leg.
“It happened so fast that I can’t even remember what the guy looked like, but I know I looked him right in the face,” said Eddie Gravely, who was celebrating his 31st birthday on the night of the carnage.
Gravely, a Staten Island resident, remains in the intensive care unit at Lutheran Hospital. The .40-caliber bullet hit one of his arteries, so he may have to rehabilitate in the hospital for up to six weeks.
Gravely said he was pulling his cousin away from a scuffle on the dance floor when a man unleashed his steel. The shooter is still on the loose.
“I saw my cousin Bernard near an altercation and tried to get him away,” Gravely said. “Then some guy I didn’t even know just shot me.”
Gravely said he does not know what started the argument that ended when a bullet pierced his skin, causing him to immediately black out, and that he can’t remember who carried him out of the club and through the crowd of nearly 400 people fleeing the scene.
“All I remember is bleeding in the street for what felt like a half hour until the ambulance showed up,” he said.
Gravely and his friends blame the club’s lax security for the carnage. They said that they saw bouncers letting dozens of partygoers into the club without checking them for weapons.
“People were coming in and out of the club and security wasn’t checking everyone,” Gravely said.
“The club was chaos that night,” added Mex Guavara, who promoted the 65th Street nightclub’s event as a joint birthday party for himself, Gravely and another friend.
Cops agree that the 65th Street nightclub is a frequent host for shady activities. It was shut down for five days in July amid allegations of fighting and underage drinking. The city allowed F1 to reopen on the condition that management notify police seven days in advance if more than 200 people are expected to show up at an event. There were nearly 400 people at the club the night of the shooting (16 less than the permitted occupancy), according to F1 owner Michael Gee, but police say that they were not notified.
“F1 has absolutely not been complying with the rules,” said the 68th precinct’s commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez. “We will correct the problem at the club by continuing to step up patrols.”
Gee, who is also facing disciplinary action from the State Liquor Authority for inadequate security, said that he and his security are doing the best they can to keep the place safe, but can’t prevent customers from fighting one another.
“I can’t be responsible for everyone in the club,” Gee said. “The promoters bring all these characters in and they have conflicts with each other.”
Gee would not comment about whether or not bouncers checked all the partygoers for weapons, but said he had hired 16 security guards for the infamous night.
Police are still investigating the shooting, but no arrests have been made, Rodriguez said.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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