Tag Archives: NYPD

Cops shoot and kill man suspected of firing gun inside Jamaica bar


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Christopher Bride

Updated Friday, April 24, 9:51 a.m.

Police shot and killed a man Wednesday night after he allegedly fired a gun inside a Jamaica bar and shot at cops as they tried to chase him down, authorities said.

Officers were called to the Irish Hillside Inn, at the corner of 168th Street and Hillside Avenue, at about 9:15 p.m. after they received a report of shots fired inside the bar.

According to published reports, the trouble began when 30-year-old Jonathan Efraim, who had been staying with his girlfriend just a few blocks away, walked into the establishment about an hour before cops were called. At one point, he started a conversation with a 72-year-old man, and the bartender, feeling the need the intervene, told the elderly patron that he had a cab waiting.

That’s when Efraim reportedly shouted, “No one’s going anywhere,” and fired a gunshot into the ceiling.

Officers encountered Efraim outside the bar and, when they identified themselves and told him to stop, he took off toward 168th Place and Highland Avenue, authorities said. That’s where he stopped, turned and shot at the officers.

Efraim then continued to flee down 168th Place towards Hillside Avenue, where he again stopped and pointed his weapon in the direction of the officers, police said. Two officers then fired in his direction a total of five times, striking him in the torso.

EMS rushed Efraim to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.

The two officers who discharged their weapons were taken to North Shore Medical Center for treatment of tinnitus. No other injuries were reported.

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Photo courtesy of NYPD

A loaded 9-mm Glock 9 handgun that police said belonged to Efraim was recovered at the scene.

Efraim served in the U.S. Marines from 2004 to 2007 and had a lengthy rap sheet, according to published reports. He had 16 prior arrests, and, The New York Times reported, had most recently been arrested in April 2012 in Staten Island and charged with criminal mischief and menacing a police officer. He also had a history of psychiatric issues, including a suicide attempt in 2003, The New York Times reported. According to The Wall Street Journal,  police had responded to five emotional disturbance calls from 1998 to 2014 involving Efraim.

Efraim’s death is reportedly the NYPD’s first fatal police-involved shooting of this year.

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Two 109th Precinct cops show NYPD’s friendly side in Whitestone


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of We Love Whitestone

While 12-year-old Joseph Prisco was playing basketball alone in a local Whitestone park one day, a squad car pulled up at the curb and one officer approached him.

Joseph thought maybe he was in trouble, but what the officer said shocked him. The policeman asked to “shoot some hoops,” according to the boy, while his partner waited by the car.

As the officer played with the preteen, he asked questions about where Joseph lived, sports he liked and school. When they finished playing, Joseph called his mother, Angela Delli Gatti-Prisco, and told her about what happened. She was stunned, and thought, “Since when does a police officer stop a car to play ball with some kid at a park?” she recalled.

But the men, Police Officers Justin Hubbard and Nicholas Hon, were just making certain the boy was okay when they saw him alone on March 26 at Clintonville Playground. Their actions inspired Delli Gatti-Prisco to write a letter of appreciation to the We Love Whitestone community group, which honored the two officers on Wednesday.

“In today’s day and age, many of us take for granted the protection and service we are provided by our ‘men in blue,’ the policemen of New York City, who day in and day out put their lives on the line for the lives of others,” the mother wrote in a letter to the group.

About the incident, the cops said they were just doing their job and checking on the boy. That humble response resonated with community members.

“With all the bad publicity that cops have been getting, we felt that the majority of them are good and trying to do good things,” We Love Whitestone founder Alfredo Centola said. “And we wanted to acknowledge their going above and beyond their everyday duties.”

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Pair repeatedly stabs pedestrian in Ridgewood


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps

While walking home from a nearby bar, a 27-year-old man was stabbed numerous times by two unidentified attackers on a Ridgewood street early Sunday morning, according to police.

Authorities said the brutal assault occurred at 2:30 a.m. at the corner of Woodward Avenue and Bleecker Street.

Moments earlier, the victim left the Paradise Bar at 678 Woodward Ave. and was walking northbound on Woodward Avenue when he approached two Hispanic males ahead of him, police sources said.

As he approached them, the two men engaged the victim in a verbal dispute, sources said. Within seconds, the argument turned physical when the suspects repeatedly stabbed the man about the chest and back.

Officers from the 104th Precinct and EMS units rushed to the scene after receiving a 911 call regarding the incident. Police found the man with stab wounds to his right torso, stomach, back and left thigh.

Paramedics rushed the victim to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he was treated for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The 104th Precinct Detective Squad is investigating the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Bandits wanted for towing away air pumps from Queens gas stations


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

Police are searching for the airheads who stole self-serve air pump machines from 17 gas stations in Queens and Brooklyn since December.

In each caper the suspects used a hook and chain attached to a vehicle to yank the coin-operated devices from their pedestals, authorities said. Each of the air pumps contained hundreds of dollars in quarters and police believe the crooks got away with more than $40,000 in change combined.

A dozen of the thefts occurred in Queens, and security cameras captured one of the incidents which occurred at 6:35 p.m. on March 21 at the Sunoco gas station located at 128-24 Rockaway Blvd. in South Ozone Park.


Two men, described as white or Hispanic, were spotted in the video. Police said one of them, who was wearing a white shirt and blue jeans, was observed operating a blue Honda Accord.

The other Queens air pump thefts are as follows:

  • At 4 p.m. on Dec. 29, the crooks removed an air pump containing $800 in change from the Citgo gas station located at 91-02 South Conduit Ave. in Ozone Park. They returned to the location on March 1 at 3 p.m. and stole the replacement air pump, valued at $1,000.
  • On Dec. 30, at about 10 p.m., the bandits stole an air pump containing $200 from the Getty gas station at 70-21 73rd Pl. in Glendale.
  • At 8 p.m. on Jan. 12, the suspects removed an air compressor valued at $2,500 from the BP gas station at 130-11 North Conduit Ave. in South Ozone Park. They returned twice more to this location — at 9 p.m. on Jan. 28 and again at 10 p.m. on April 1 — and removed the replacement air compressors.
  • On Jan. 13, at about 6:59 p.m., the crooks removed an air pump valued at $2,000 from the Sunoco gas station at 162-35 North Conduit Ave. in Springfield Gardens.
  • At 12:20 a.m. on March 8, the bandits removed the air pump from the Global gas station at 49-25 Van Dam St. in Long Island City.
  • That same morning, at 2 a.m., the crooks yanked away the air pump machine from the Exxon gas station at 59-51 Long Island Expwy. in Long Island City.
  • At 8:26 p.m. on March 16, the suspects removed the air pump machine from the BP gas station located at 100-07 Rockaway Blvd. in Ozone Park.
  • At 9:26 p.m. on March 20, the perpetrators removed an unknown amount of change from the vacuum air machine at the Eagle service center located at 49-05 Astoria Blvd. in Astoria.

Among the five Brooklyn locations in the pattern was the Exxon GPN Boulevard gas station at 1193 Myrtle Ave. in Bushwick. The crooks removed the station’s air pump machine, valued at $700, at 9:08 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 2.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Warnings about police impersonators in Maspeth and Elmhurst


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

File photo

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Police impersonation warnings dominated the discussion at Monday night’s Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) meeting at St. Adalbert’s Church in Elmhurst.

Representatives of the 104th, 108th and 110th precincts warned residents about a dangerous uptick in home invasions and robberies committed by perpetrators impersonating police officers. Deputy Inspector Christopher Manson, commander of the 110th Precinct, cautioned COMET members against falling victim to this scheme.

According to Manson, three such robberies occurred recently within the confines of the 110th Precinct. In one case, two males with dark complexions riding in a black van followed a man walking home between the hours of 1:30 and 4:30 a.m. One of the suspects, pretending to be a plain-clothes police officer, approached the victim, frisked him, stole his wallet and sped away in the van. The other two incidents were similar in nature.

Manson believes the victims were targeted because they were walking alone late at night. He urged residents to request a valid NYPD ID card from anyone attempting to stop them on the street claiming to be an officer.

Maspeth and Elmhurst have also seen an increase in home invasions and burglaries committed by police impersonators. However, unlike the robberies, the recent home invasions appear to deliberately target houses with reputations for illegal activities and narcotics.

Capt. Lavonda Wise (center) of the 108th Precinct is pictured with COMET President Rosemarie Daraio (at left) and Vice President Richard Gundlach. (TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso)

Capt. Lavonda Wise (center) of the 108th Precinct is pictured with COMET President Rosemarie Daraio (at left) and Vice President Richard Gundlach. (TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso)

On March 24th, a home invasion robbery involving police impersonation took place on Jay Avenue in Maspeth. According to reports, two black males wearing fake police uniforms forced their way into the front door of the home. Once inside, they ransacked a basement apartment and then fled on foot.

“This is not a random act,” said Capt. Mark Wachter, commanding officer of the 104th Precinct. “These homes were targeted.”

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, with detectives from the Police Impersonation Investigation Unit examining video footage from the vicinity of the crime.

Manson reported similar incidents in the 110th Precinct. Manson believes the perpetrators in these incidents are attempting to shake down reputed drug houses for narcotics and cash.

“They go where they know the money is,” he said.

Capt. Lavonda Wise, the new executive officer of the 108th Precinct, introduced herself to COMET members. She reported two incidents of home burglaries in the 108th Precinct in the past month. In both cases, perpetrators broke the locks on the front doors of the homes to gain entry. According to Wise, an investigation into these incidents is ongoing.

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Bandits behind armed robbery at Jamaica bodega still at large


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo/video courtesy of NYPD

Police continue to search for two men who robbed a Jamaica grocery store at gunpoint last week.

The heist happened at 3 p.m. on April 7 inside the Stop 1 bodega located at 137-38 Jamaica Ave., authorities said.

According to police, one of the two suspects displayed a black firearm upon entering the business and demanded cash from a store clerk. Both suspects then walked behind the counter, grabbed more than $500 in cash and fled the scene in an unknown direction.


The NYPD described the gun-toting crook as a 30-year-old black male standing 5 foot 9 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

His accomplice was described by police as a black male last seen wearing a New York Yankees baseball cap, a dark jacket and blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Charges dropped against alleged Resorts World shooter: reports


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Prosecutors dropped charges against a man who allegedly fired shots in the parking lot of Resorts World Casino during Friday’s brawl at the South Ozone Park entertainment center, according to published reports.

Quoting sources within the Queens district attorney’s office, the New York Post reported Thursday morning that Jaquan Roberts, 22, will not be prosecuted over the gunplay due to a lack of evidence.

However, a Queens DA spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the report in a phone interview with The Courier Thursday, stating only that Roberts has not been charged and that the matter is still under investigation.

Jaquan Roberts (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Jaquan Roberts (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Police arrested Roberts Tuesday for allegedly opening fire in the parking lot on April 3 as a brawl erupted inside Resorts World’s Fat Tuesday daiquiri bar. No injuries related to the shooting were reported, but numerous individuals involved in the fight suffered minor injuries.

Two men were charged for their alleged roles in the melee and a third was issued a summons.

According to the Post, a security camera video that police obtained showed Roberts holding something that appeared to be a firearm. However, prosecutors reportedly deemed the video as insufficient evidence to charge him at this time.

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Alleged Maspeth pizzeria, Ridgewood drugstore burglars picked up by cops


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Christopher Bride

Detectives delivered two suspected burglars to jail for allegedly breaking into a Maspeth pizzeria and a Ridgewood drugstore last month, authorities said.

According to the Queens district attorney’s office, Bushwick’s Charles Viacava, 48, and Jamaica’s Pedro Alicea, 43, were allegedly caught on security camera video burglarizing Pronto Pizza located at 52-03 Metropolitan Ave. on the evening of March 24 and the Rite-Med Pharmacy at 311 St. Nicholas Ave. on the night of March 31.

During the pizzeria burglary, Viacava and Alicea allegedly threw a brick through a glass window and removed the cash register, police said.

Authorities said the suspects did the same thing at the Rite-Med store, smashing a front window with a brick before getting inside and then ultimately stealing a cash register.

Following an investigation, the 104th Precinct Detective Squad tracked down Viacava and Alicea and, after questioning, took them into custody on Saturday. They were both charged with two counts of third-degree burglary and two counts of criminal mischief.

Both suspects were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Sunday morning before Judge William Harrington, who set Viacava’s bail at $35,000 and ordered Alicea held on $25,000 bail. The alleged burglars are due back in court on April 13.

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More Maspeth massage parlor employees busted for prostitution


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Three Maspeth massage parlor workers wound up in handcuffs last week for rubbing patrons the wrong way, according to police.

Law enforcement sources said the suspects were cuffed on April 1 at a massage parlor located at 66-47 Grand Ave., which cops raided in a prior bust back in March.

According to the criminal complaint, Hiu Yi Tsang, 29, of Flushing, allegedly offered and agreed to engage in a sexual act for $40 and perform a massage for $60 on an undercover detective.

It was also noted in the report that Tsang is allegedly not licensed, registered, nor holds a limited permit to practice massage therapy in New York State.

Sunyu Ping, 46, of Maspeth, is alleged in the report to have offered and performed a full body massage, which she was not licensed for, on the undercover detective for $40. It is further reported that Ping then offered and agreed to engage in oral sex with the detective for the sum of $60.

Finally, police said that Lina Li, 33, of Maspeth allegedly offered and agreed to engage in sexual intercourse with the undercover detective, and then agreed to perform a full body massage on the detective, for a total of $300.

All three suspects were charged with prostitution and unauthorized use of a professional title.

Tsang and Ping were arraigned in front of Judge Bruna Dibiase, while Li was arraigned in front of Judge David Hawkins; they were each released without bail. Both Ping and Tsang are due back in court on April 24, while Li’s next court date is May 1.

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Detectives talk woman out of jumping off Kosciuszko Bridge


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy of NYPD

A pair of NYPD detectives spent around two hours Monday talking a suicidal woman off the edge of the Kosciuszko Bridge, according to police.

That morning, police arrived about 11:30 a.m. to find the 45-year-old Brooklyn resident on top of a pipe on the outside of the bridge, which connects Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with Queens.

Two detectives—Meghan Kinsella, a 14-year veteran who works as a domestic violence officer, and Steven Stefanakos, a 24-year veteran who has spent 20 of those years with the Emergency Service Unit—moved into action to try to talk the woman out of taking her life.

At first, according to police, the woman wasn’t responsive to either of the detectives as they took turns engaging her in conversation.

“I tried to convince her that no matter what, we would be with her every step of the way,” Kinsella said. “He would talk and I would talk. I didn’t even realize I was there for two hours. I was completely focused on her.”

When Stefanakos, who is an instructor with the NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit and teaches officers how to interact with emotionally disturbed people in crisis, mentioned the possibility of the woman having a family or children, she grabbed back onto the wire, authorities said.

“I told her, ‘I don’t know what is going on and what is happening with you, but give us [a] chance to talk to you,’” he said.

Kinsella also told the woman, who is a mother of one, that she was strong enough to get through the situation, and the detectives were finally able to convince her to come off the edge of the bridge.


As video footage of the rescue released by police shows, officers were able to pull the woman to safety, and EMS took her to Elmhurst Hospital for treatment.

“It’s a huge relief. It actually is euphoric because you made a difference in somebody’s life, right there and then,” Stefanakos said.

“I’m a mom so I just wanted to get her home safe with her family,” Kinsella added.

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Suspect wanted for firing shots in parking lot outside Resorts World brawl


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo courtesy NYPD

Police are looking for a man who allegedly fired shots in the parking lot of Resorts World around the time a massive fight broke out in the casino Friday night.

At about 10:50 p.m., during the brawl at the South Ozone Park casino, which occurred at the grand opening of a daiquiri bar called Fat Tuesday, police responded to a 911 call of shots fired in the parking lot, authorities said. Officers searched the parking lot and area hospitals for a victim with a gunshot wound, but none was found.

Using surveillance footage of the area and inside of the casino, facial recognition technology and a license plate reader, police were able to identify the suspect as 22-year-old Jaquan Roberts, authorities said.

Roberts is described as a black male, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. According to police, he was arrested in 2010 for possession of a loaded .22-caliber American Arms revolver after he shot himself in the right leg.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Two dead in fiery crash in front of Queens high school


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Updated Tuesday, April 7, 10:27 a.m.

Two people were killed early Sunday morning after their car crashed into scaffolding in front of Jamaica’s Thomas A. Edison High School and burst into flames, police said.

A Nissan Maxima was traveling eastbound on the Grand Central Parkway service road about 4:25 a.m. when it lost control coming off the roadway, authorities said. The vehicle then struck scaffolding located outside of the school at 65-65 84th Ave. and the car caught on fire.

According to witnesses, the vehicle was speeding when it crashed, police said.

Once responding FDNY personnel were able to extinguish the flames, officers found two people inside the vehicle. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Police did not immediately release their identities.

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Brooklyn man convicted of causing wild car chase through Long Island City


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

File photo

Jurors convicted a Brooklyn man Wednesday on assault and other charges for leading officers on a wild pursuit through Long Island City and Manhattan last June, prosecutors announced.

Maurice McArthur, 27, was found guilty of second-degree assault, third-degree unlawful fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest after a two-week jury trial before Judge Robert C. Kohm.

McArthur faces up to seven years behind bars when he is sentenced on April 28, according to Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown.

Authorities said the trouble began at about 7:30 p.m. on June 4, 2014, when McArthur — while speeding in a 1996 Ford Taurus southbound on 11th Street — nearly struck an unmarked police van as he was turning eastbound onto 40th Avenue.

When the officers attempted to pull him over, McArthur ignored them and turned onto 21st Street, according to prosecutors. Police pursued McArthur as he eventually made his way onto the Ed Koch-Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan.

After leaving the bridge he continued driving erratically, weaving in and out of traffic, briefly driving onto a sidewalk and striking a vehicle in the process, sources said. He then returned to the Queensboro Bridge and traveled back into Queens.

McArthur reportedly stopped at Thomson Avenue, then jumped out of the car and ran eastbound toward Queens Boulevard, where police apprehended him.

Two officers suffered minor injuries while attempting to take McArthur into custody, prosecutors said.

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Tumbling crime numbers top 108th Precinct Council meeting in Sunnyside


| editorial@ridgewoodtimes.com

TIMES NEWSWEEKLY/Photo by Kelly Marie Mancuso

BY KELLY MARIE MANCUSO

Crime plunged in the 108th Precinct over the last four weeks, the force’s commanding officer reported during Tuesday’s 108th Precinct Community Council meeting at Sunnyside Community Services.

Capt. John Travaglia said that the precinct, which covers all or parts of Long Island City, Maspeth, Sunnyside and Woodside, recorded a 28 percent drop in major crimes in the last 28 days. The plunge included a 50 percent fall in robberies, an 11 percent decrease in burglaries and a 46 percent drop in grand larcenies.

Continuing the positive news, Travaglia said the precinct recorded no incidents of rape, homicide or auto accident fatalities so far this year.

“Our numbers reflect how safe of a community we live in,” Travaglia said. “This is a wonderful place and the statistics don’t lie.”

Travaglia did, however, caution residents about preventing burglaries during the coming spring and summer months.

“As the weather gets warmer, we tend to leave our windows open to let the nice breeze into our homes,” he said, “but when you leave your home, remember to shut those windows and lock them.  These are crimes of opportunity, and we want to make sure we take that opportunity away.”

Travaglia and the council honored one officer in particular for his efforts to fight crime. P.O. John Miszuk of the precinct’s Anti-Crime Team received the Cop of the Month Award for apprehending a violent robbery suspect earlier in the month.

At 10:30 p.m. on March 21, 108th Precinct officers responded to a 911 call regarding a robbery in progress in the vicinity of 47th Avenue and 46th Street. According to Travaglia, the suspect approached his male victim from behind with a knife, demanding cash and belongings. After a brief struggle, the victim’s face and hand were slashed and the perp fled on foot.

The victim surrendered some personal property, but managed to hold on to his cellphone and call the police. Travaglia spoke with the victim over the phone and tried to get a description of the perp, as well as the victim’s location. Miszuk and his team combed the area searching for the suspect based on the description given to 911.

Miszuk apprehended the suspect a few blocks away from the crime scene, while Travaglia was still on the phone with the victim. The suspect was allegedly found in possession of a knife, as well as crack cocaine and a crack pipe.

Travaglia and Precinct Council President Diane Ballek presented Miszuk with a plaque donated by the Ridgewood Times and Times Newsweekly.

The Precinct Council also welcomed Marissa Beckett from the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence (OCDV). Beckett announced the creation and expansion of several programs aimed at helping victims of domestic assault at Family Justice Centers in each borough.

“Domestic Violence is a pattern of power and control,” she explained. “It can begin as threats and can escalate to physical abuse.”

Some of the programs offered at the Queens Family Justice Center, located at 126-02 82nd Ave. in Kew Gardens, include Safe Horizon, ESL classes, parenting programs and the Healthy Relationship Training Academy aimed at preventing cyber bullying and dating violence among teens. Help is available to all regardless of their language or immigration status.

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Ridgewood man kills himself after shooting wife, stepdaughter: police sources


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Anthony Giudice

Updated Wednesday, April 1, 2:56 p.m. 

An apparent domestic dispute reportedly led a husband to shoot his wife and stepdaughter in their Ridgewood home before taking his own life Tuesday night, police sources said.

Reportedly, the shooting occurred at about 8:15 p.m. on Gates Avenue off Fresh Pond Road.

According to police, the gunman — whose identity was withheld due to the ongoing investigation — shot his 54-year-old wife in the back and his 31-year-old stepdaughter in the arm.

Officers from the 104th Precinct and EMS units responded to reports of the shooting. Paramedics rushed both victims to Elmhurst Hospital Center for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening.

Meanwhile, it was reported, the shooter locked himself inside the home, leading to an hour-long standoff with police.

Initial reports claimed the suspect turned the gun on himself, but police stated Wednesday morning that officers, after gaining entry into the location, found the suspect hanging from a rope. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing.

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