Police are investigating a shooting that took place early Saturday morning at a Third Avenue bodega in Bay Ridge. Three gunmen shot and injured four men, including one bodega employee, at around 4 a.m., police said.
EMS personnel transported three of the victims to Lutheran Medical Center, while one victim walked. Early police reports listed all four in stable condition.
The shooting occurred at M&S Mini Market on 7301 Third Ave., near the corner of 73rd Street.
Mo Hassan was working at the bodega the night of the shooting. He said that two of the victims—who had come from the direction of a nearby bar, Catch 22—were in the store to buy cigarettes and a sandwich. As they completed their order, Hassan recalled seeing two of the three shooters approach the store’s entrance. He saw one throw a bottle, and then he heard gunshots.
“The moment I heard shots, I ducked down and called 911,” Hassan said.
Both customers and a bodega employee, inside the store, and also a man who was standing just outside, were hit by the gunfire. According to police, one victim also sustained a stab wound to the stomach.
Julia Ferranti was at her home on 73rd Street when the shooting happened. “I heard six or seven shots, so I went outside to see what was going on,” she said. “There was a guy laying on the ground, and a bunch of his friends were trying to help him.”
The victims included a 28-year-old man, shot in the arm and buttocks; a 44-year-old man, shot in the chin; a 46-year-old man, who was shot in the back and stabbed in the stomach; and a 33-year-old man, who was shot in the ankle, according to police.
The gunmen fled after the incident, police said. All three are Hispanic men in their mid-to-late 20s. Police released a photo and ask anyone with relevant information to call the NYPD Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS, or 1-888-57-PISTA for Spanish.
Since the shooting, police officers have regularly stationed themselves outside of the bodega “for deterrence.”
Hassan said there have been fights and noise problems at bars around M&S, including Catch 22. The bar’s manager, who asked not to be identified beyond his title, admitted that the victims had been in his bar before the shooting. He said that they weren’t regulars, and the whole situation came “out of left field.”
“I didn’t know their names or anything, and neither did the bartenders,” he said. He made clear that the suspects came from down the block after the victims left his bar and entered the bodega.
The shooting occurred just over a week after a woman was found beaten to death in Owl’s Head Park, one of Bay Ridge’s only two murders since the beginning of last year, according to precinct data.