“They need to put some tape up here because this is a straight up crime scene,” said a young woman as she passed Sushi Tatsu II, on the corner of Dean Street and Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights.
Indeed it was. Two men were shot at dinner time outside of the sushi restaurant, one man, an apparent innocent bystander and an employee of the restaurant, was hit in the shoulder. The other, apparently the intended victim, “was really bad” according to a cop at the scene. It is unknown right now whether either man lived or not. The motive is unclear at this time.
Residents at the scene described the shots as sounding “like a cannon” and one woman who spoke with officers said she heard the shots and immediately rounded up nearby children and brought them inside. Pedestrians stood around watching as the victims were taken away in two ambulances and the street was cordoned off by police officers who directed traffic onto Pacific Street.
One officer, talking to residents, explained that there are “ignorant people” who carry guns, and upstanding citizens who carry guns to protect themselves. What became clear as the conversation went on, was that either way, there are too many guns, legal and illegal, flowing through the area, where shots can often be heard ringing out into the night.
Just under two weeks ago, a double homicide was reported on Washington Avenue near St. John’s Place in Prospect Heights, shots emanating, according to one officer, from two men on bicycles at a block party.
According to the NYPD’s statistics for the nearby 77th precinct, 14 homicides were committed by this time last year, and so far this year (before July 26), 9 homicides have been reported. “They need to put cameras up,” said one man on the corner adjacent to the scene.
The issue of City Council funding for cameras in the area was recently addressed at a precinct meeting with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
“It’s not a question of taking capital money and moving it to the expense budget because its apples and oranges,” Commissioner Kelly told the crowd at Berean Baptist Church in early June. “So what happens is the city council has to negotiate with the administration to get expense money. That is sort of what’s going on. To move capital funds into the expense budget is a very difficult process.“
But to the residents on Franklin Avenue today, it seems far more difficult to clean up the bodies. Though, a detective standing a block from the crime scene on Pacific Street had his own take. “It’s not as bad as it used to be,” he said.
UPDATE: The Daily News reports that Sushi Tatsu employee Lin Jun, 21, was listed in critical condition, while the second unnamed 28-year-old man was listed in stable condition. Both men were taken to Kings County Hospital.