Tag Archives: AK-47

Weekend Roundup


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Crazed subway ‘pusher’ says she did so because she thought victim was Muslim

The crazed woman who shoved a Queens immigrant to his gruesome death in front of a subway train told cops yesterday that she did so because she thought he was a Muslim, authorities said. Read more: NY Post

Teen shot and killed in Far Rockaway by two masked men armed with AK-47, pistol

A Queens mom who hoped to see her teen son become a marine biologist instead saw him Saturday in the morgue. Xavier Granville, 17, was gunned down by a pair of ski-masked gunmen — one toting an AK-47 assault rifle — after a late-night party in Far Rockaway, police sources said. Read more: Daily News

One woman dies following watery crash near JFK Airport

Fire officials say a woman died this in the hospital this morning after a car carrying her and five others submerged in water near John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens. The accident happened around 4:30 a.m. at Rockaway Boulevard and Brookville Boulevard near the southeast corner of John F. Kennedy Airport. Read more: NY1

Hurricane said to feed crime surge in storm-soaked South Queens precincts

Queens residents in Sandy-ravaged neighborhoods were victim to both Mother Nature and cold-hearted thieves this past year. The lastest NYPD crime stats show a soaring uptick in robberies and grand larcenies throughout the storm-battered Rockaways and Howard Beach neighborhoods. Read more: Daily News

Schumer wants House to vote on Sandy aid bill

Senator Charles Schumer called on leaders in the House of Representatives on Saturday to allow the $60.4 billion Hurricane Sandy aid package to come to the floor for a vote. The Senate passed the measure by a 61-33 vote on Friday, with 12 Republicans supporting the measure. Read more: NY1

Queens gun buyback brings in more than 500 weapons


| tpetropoulosedit@queenscourier.com

File photo

With no questions asked, hundreds of people walked into New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Jamaica and turned in 509 guns over the weekend.

The gun buyback program, the first since 2009, netted an AK 47, tec-9, 245 revolvers, 168 semi-automatic pistols and a Calico 9mm with a 50 round capacity magazine.

Participants received $200 for handguns and $20 for rifles and shotguns in exchange for their weapons.

“I’m excited about [the gun buyback program], not in a good way, because I wish all these guns were not on the street, but I am excited that they are coming in,” said State Senator Malcolm Smith, who co-sponsored the program with Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “With the feedback we had today, I am encouraged that the people are starting to say ‘You know what, enough is enough, I am going to be part of the solution.’”

As of August 5, shootings have seen a nine percent increase in New York City this year compared to last year, with 882 shooting incidents so far, according to NYPD data.

“I am all for this gun buyback program,” said Donna Hood, a member of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church who lost a son, Kevin Lamont Miller Jr., to a stray bullet in Jamaica in 2009. “I still have a son to raise, so if this program will make it a little safer for kids that we still have on the streets, that’s alright with me.”

Pols, police push for less violence; Say gun buybacks are pivotal


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

File photo

The shells are gone, but the discussion over whose responsibility it is to keep the streets safe has broken out into a different sort of fire fight.

After a wave of citywide violence that included several deaths in Queens, elected officials and the NYPD have each said the other side has to do more to keep the city safe.

For example, according to Councilmember James Sanders, there were no gun buyback programs in Queens over the course of the last three years.

Sanders, who represents the area where three men were killed and another critically injured in an AK-47 shooting, noted that all the other boroughs have had successful gun buybacks.

Adding to the fervor were comments by Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly last week, when he said there had been a relatively silent response by elected officials in regards to the shooting.

State Senator Shirley Huntley said she wasn’t sure what the commissioner wanted from elected officials, adding she had a clear line of communication with the 113th Precinct and officers were keeping her well informed.

Sanders said that District Attorney Richard A. Brown needs to sponsor more gun buyback programs, as the most recent was in 2009, which Sanders helped organize.

In the six hours the drive lasted, Sanders said, more than 900 guns were taken off the streets.

“That [the shooting] took place on a residential street, directly in front of a public school, only serves to drive home the dangers that have crept into our community,” he said. “We will not tolerate it here, and we will move heaven and earth to ensure our safety and the safety of our children.”

Brown, in a statement, said getting weapons off the street was a key priority for the DA’s office — gun buybacks were just some of the ways to achieve this.

“We have used gun buy backs in the past and we will use them again when we deem them appropriate,” Brown said. “We are in constant dialogue with the NYPD about where and when to have one. I would remind individuals that they can currently turn in guns at their local police precinct and receive $100 – no questions asked.”

The NYPD does host buyback programs, which, according to police, have brought in more than 7,700 weapons since the venture’s inception. In a recent event at St. Benedict’s Church in Jamaica, police said more than 50 guns were taken off the street, including 19 semi-automatic handguns.

But officials say their next target needs to be reducing the use of automatic weapons. One suggestion, Sanders said, was that the federal government re-enact the Brady Bill, which banned the sale of automatic weapons nationwide.

Councilmember Leroy Comrie said that, to curb the violence, a more holistic approach to decreasing crime, including community engagement and getting more people jobs, must be taken.

“[We] need to get more jobs so there are fewer people walking around frustrated,” he said.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the issue of violence on Sunday, July 15 at The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral in Jamaica, where he defended stop-and-frisk and called for a community effort to decrease crime citywide.

“And that’s why – in addition to everything else we are doing – police officers stop and question those who are suspected of criminal activity – and frisk those who are suspected of carrying a weapon,” he said. “Those stops have recovered thousands of guns over the past decade, and tens of thousands of knives.”

Wave of crimes hit Queens with heat wave


| tcullen@queenscourier.com


In a week filled with shootings throughout the city, Queens did not remain bulletproof.

Between July 4 and July 7, the borough had four deaths, one man critically wounded and an MTA cop suffering a sight-threatening injury.

Councilmember Peter Vallone, who chairs the Public Safety Committee, said this spike in citywide crime comes from several factors.

“It’s a pretty simple equation: fewer cops plus more criminals equals more crime,” he said.

Because of budget cuts, Vallone said, the NYPD has fewer cops covering more crimes. He also mentioned the state’s repeal of the Rockefeller era drug laws. These factors — along with soaring temperatures — were causing a higher-than-normal spike in crimes, he said.

On early Saturday, July 7, three men were fatally shot, and a fourth wounded, in Jamaica. Police said were two shooters — one of whom fired 63 rounds from an AK-47. This was one of several shootings or stabbings to take place over what was considered the Fourth of July weekend. At deadline, police said there still had been no arrests and the investigation was ongoing.

It was reported that the Jeep Grand Cherokee the men occupied was double parked as it dropped a friend off. The men were followed, several newspapers reported, after one had reportedly given a look to a woman at a Brooklyn night club.

Vallone said it was rare to see an AK-47 being used, and attributed it to the federal government not cracking down on gun laws. The three-term councilmember said he’d already set forth a resolution to get rid of what he called loopholes in purchasing guns, such as background checks not required at gun shows or online through sites like Craigslist.

A few days earlier, Edgar Owens — who had a history of attacking cops — came at MTA officer John Barnett at the Jamaica LIRR station on the morning of July 4. Owens stabbed Barnett, who has served as an MTA cop for almost 13 years, in the left eye. Had the stab been an inch deeper, an MTA spokesperson said, the knife would have hit his brain.

Despite the injury, Barnett was still able draw his weapon and fire four shots at the attacker, hitting him in the chest, jaw and hip, according to an MTA press release.

Barnett was released from the hospital the following day to the applause of fellow officers. An MTA spokesperson said there has not been any prognosis as to his eye. And though he is due for reconstructive surgery, it is unclear yet if he will regain his sight.