A scooter-riding madman with a ghost gun shot four people in Brooklyn and Queens early Saturday, killing an elderly man and leaving three others hurt before he was taken into custody, police and sources said.
The 25-year-old shooter was on an illegal scooter at Ashford Avenue and Arlington Avenue in East New York when he drove up behind a 21-year-old man and shot him in the shoulder, Assistant Chief of Detectives Joe Kenny said.
Then, 17 minutes later at 11:27 a.m., the shooter fired one bullet into the back of an Asian man, 87, at 108th Street and Jamaica Avenue in Queens, Kenny said. He was rushed to nearby Jamaica Hospital but couldn’t be saved.
Roughly eight minutes later, another man, 44, was shot in the face at 11:35 a.m. at Hillside Avenue and 126th Street. The bullet lodged in his cheek and he was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, police said.
A couple minutes later, at 11:37 a.m. a 63-year-old Hispanic man was shot in the shoulder at 134th Street and Jamaica Avenue. He was in stable condition. The shooter, whom a source described as “extremely emotionally disturbed,” was taken into custody nearby at 1:10 p.m.
Charges against him were pending. “Our hearts go out to all the families affected by this senseless violence,” Acting Police Commissioner Eddie Caban said at a news conference.
Caban said the shooter was on an “illegal scooter that did not have a license plate to move from one location to the next.” “Despite the difficulties this presented, our investigators were able to pull video of the shooter,” Caban said. “The image was sent to the smartphone of every NYPD officer using what is called a critical message.”
A police source said the first cop who spotted the shooter on his scooter pursued but lost him. A second officer tried to chase the shooter in his vehicle but it turned into a foot chase, when the gunman apparently dumped the scooter. Police found the gun inside the scooter, police said.
“It was a ghostgun,” the source said. The gun has “no serial numbers on it and is unregistered,” the source said. Witnesses said the shooter was riding on the sidewalk and firing randomly, causing panic.
“We were inside and we heard like three shots — pow, pow, pow — one behind each other,” one local store owner said. “I looked outside but I didn’t see him. People said he was on a motorcycle on the sidewalk just shooting randomly.
People were screaming and running.” Another resident said she was coming to the laundromat and saw people “running all over the place.” “People are scared, everybody is scared,” she said. “This is a peaceful neighborhood. I don’t know what happened today.” All the victims were taken to Jamaica Hospital.
The shooter — described as a Hispanic man with a heavy build, dressed in a green shirt, black pants with a white stripe and black and white sneakers — had a .9-mm firearm with an extended clip of ammunition, according to a police source.