Archive for the ‘NY’ Category

New York: Harlem Store Owner Shoots 4 Robbers, Killing 2

August 14, 2009

Harlem, New York

From the New York Times of August 13, 2009

Harlem Store Owner Shoots 4 Robbers, Killing 2

They strode into the restaurant supply store in Harlem shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday, four young men intent on robbery, one with a Glock 9-millimeter pistol, the police said. The place may have looked like an easy mark, a high-cash business with an owner in his 70s, known as a gentle, soft-spoken man.

But Charles Augusto Jr., the 72-year-old proprietor of the Kaplan Brothers Blue Flame Corporation, at 523 West 125th Street, near Amsterdam Avenue, had been robbed several times before, despite the fact that his shop is around the corner from the 26th Precinct station house on West 126th Street.

There were no customers in the store, only Mr. Augusto and two employees, a man and a woman. The police said the invaders announced a holdup, approached the two employees and tried to place plastic handcuffs on them. The male employee, a 35-year-old known in the community as J. B., struggled with the gunman, who then hit him on the head with the pistol.

Watching it happen, Mr. Augusto, whom neighborhood friends call Gus, rose from a chair 20 to 30 feet away and took out a loaded Winchester 12-gauge pump-action shotgun with a pistol-grip handle. The police said he bought it after a robbery 30 years ago.

Mr. Augusto, who has never been in trouble with the law, fired three blasts in rapid succession, the police said, although Vernon McKenzie, working at an Internet company next door, heard only two booms, loud enough to send him rushing to a window, where he heard someone shout: “You’re dead! You’re dead!”

The first shot took down the gunman at the front. He died almost immediately, according to the police, who said he was 29 and had been arrested for gun possession in Queens last year and was the nephew of a police officer.

Mr. Augusto’s other two blasts hit all three accomplices, who stumbled out the door, bleeding.

One of them, a 21-year-old, staggered across 125th Street and collapsed in front of the General Grant Houses, a nine-building complex with 4,500 residents, one of the city’s biggest housing projects. Someone called 911, and an ambulance rushed him to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he was dead on arrival. The police said he had a record of arrests for weapons possession and robbery.

Another wounded man left a blood trail that the police followed to 125th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. The fourth wounded man was picked up, on the basis of witness descriptions, at 128th Street and St. Nicholas Terrace. Both were taken to St. Luke’s.

The names of the men who were shot — two dead and two wounded — were not immediately released by the authorities. The two at the hospital, both 21 years old, were in stable condition late Thursday night, the police said.

(Much more)

From the New York Times of August 14, 2009

Back at Work, Harlem Store Owner Recounts Shooting

A day after shooting four men who tried to rob his restaurant supply store, killing two of them, Charles Augusto Jr., 72, was back at work in Harlem on Friday morning. His feelings the day after he pulled the trigger? “I wish I didn’t need to,” he said.

Mr. Augusto, who goes by Gus, opened the shop, the Kaplan Brothers Blue Flame Corporation, at 523 West 125th Street, near Amsterdam Avenue, at 8 a.m. He was accompanied by an employee who had been hit with a pistol during the robbery Thursday afternoon. After the employee was struck, Mr. Augusto picked up his shotgun and fired it three times.

The shots killed two men, James Morgan, 29, and Raylin Footman, 21, and wounded two others, Bernard Witherspoon and Shamel McCloud, both 21, the police said. The two survivors are being charged with robbery, the police said.

Mr. Augusto said he had bought the gun, a Winchester 12-gauge pump-action with a pistol-grip handle, after a robbery 20 years ago and had a permit for it. “Not even touched in 20 years,” he said. “Not even touched. I wish I didn’t need to.”

The employee, who goes by J. B. and declined to give his last name, said that he “lost my mind” while the robbers tried to restrain him with duct tape, and that when he struggled, he was hit with the pistol. “Better him with a tag on his toe than my mother planning a funeral for me,” he said of the gunman.


New York: Merciful storekeeper changes robber’s mind, religion [At gunpoint]

June 11, 2009

Long Island, New York

From the CNN of June 2, 2009

Merciful storekeeper changes robber’s mind, religion

A potential victim became a compassionate counselor during a recent robbery attempt, changing the would-be criminal’s mind — and apparently his religion.

Storekeeper Mohammad Sohail was closing up his Long Island convenience store just after midnight on May 21 when — as shown on the store’s surveillance video — a man came in wielding a baseball bat and demanding money.

“He said, ‘Hurry up and give me the money, give me the money!’ and I said, ‘Hold on’,” Sohail recalled in a phone interview with CNN on Tuesday, after the store video and his story was carried on local TV.

Sohail said he reached under the counter, grabbed his gun and told the robber to drop the bat and get down on his knees.

“He’s crying like a baby,” Sohail said. “He says, ‘Don’t call police, don’t shoot me, I have no money, I have no food in my house.’ “

Amidst the man’s apologies and pleas, Sohail said he felt a surge of compassion.

He made the man promise never to rob anyone again and when he agreed, Sohail gave him $40 and a loaf of bread.

“When he gets $40, he’s very impressed, he says, ‘I want to be a Muslim just like you,’ ” Sohail said, adding he had the would-be criminal recite an Islamic oath.

“I said ‘Congratulations. You are now a Muslim and your name is Nawaz Sharif Zardari.'”

When asked why he chose the hybrid of two Pakistani presidents’ names, the Pakistani immigrant laughed and said he had been watching a South Asian news channel moments before the confrontation.

Sohail said the man fled the store when he turned away to get the man some free milk.

He said police might still be looking for the suspect but he doesn’t intend to press charges.

“The guy, you know, everybody has a hard time right now, it’s too bad for everybody right now in this economy,” said the storekeeper.

Regardless of the other material in this story, it cannot be ignored that this “conversion” took place at gunpoint, and upon receiving money and some goods, the “convert” fled. No reasonable person would conclude that the would-be robber’s actions would have been the same if the storekeeper had not threatened him with a shotgun.

Long Island Deli Owner Draws Gun On Robber

June 10, 2009

Long Island, New York

From June 2, 2009 WABC channel 7:

A Long Island deli owner pulled a gun on a would-be robber and then gave him cash.

Mohammad Sohail, who owns the Shirley Express, says a bat-wielding man entered the convenience store and demanded money on Thursday, May 21, just after midnight.

Sohail responded by pulling out a rifle. The suspect then reportedly dropped to his knees and begged forgiveness, blaming the tough economy for his turn to crime.

The Pakistani immigrant, who has been on Long Island for more than 20 years, put down his gun and gave the man $40 and a loaf of bread.

“He started crying,” Sohail told Newsday. “He was saying, ‘I have no money. I have no food. I have no job. I have to take care of my family.'”

Sohail told the man to promise he would never rob anyone again, and then gave him the cash and bread. He says that when he went to get the man some milk, the suspect fled the scene on foot.

Sohail then called 911. Police, who confirmed the account, say the incident is under investigation.

New York: Man jailed with a gunshot wound after harassing ex-wife

April 2, 2009

Catskill, New York

From WCAX of April 1, 2009

Man jailed with a gunshot wound after harassing ex-wife

A 47-year-old man is in the Greene County jail with a gunshot wound after State Police say he showed up drunk at his estranged wife’s home and harassed her and her sister.

Troopers got a call around 5:30 Monday evening from a 49-year-old woman who said she had just shot her sister’s ex-husband.

Police say Geraldine Finelli armed herself with a 20-gauge shotgun after Donald Case Jr. showed up making threats. When Case refused to leave, she fired one round toward the ground, striking Case in the lower leg.

He took off, but was stopped by Catskill village police and taken to the hospital for treatment of the wound. When he was released, State Police charged him with second-degree burglary.

He was arraigned and jailed on $50,000 cash bail or $100,000 bond.

New York: Unarmed, Shop Owner Turned Tables on Gunmen

November 20, 2008

Brooklyn, New York

From the New York Times of November 18, 2008

Unarmed, Shop Owner Turned Tables on Gunmen

Some would-be robbers picked the wrong shop owner to rob in Brooklyn on Monday night.

Even though he was unarmed, the shop owner, identified by neighbors as Youssouf Drame, 35, wrested a gun away from one of the men and fatally shot two of them. The police say that two other suspects — it’s unclear whether they entered the store — are at large.

Mr. Drame, the owner of the variety store at 1051 Nostrand Avenue in Crown Heights, was also shot multiple times during the struggle and remained in critical condition at Kings County Hospital Center on Tuesday, the police said.

His wife, Soriah Williams, 35, said on Tuesday evening that he had had surgery in the morning but was still in intensive care and not talking.

She said that he had been shot several times and had also been hit in the head.

“Nothing surprised me about what he did,” she said outside of 300 Sullivan Place, about three blocks from the store, where they live with their five children. “The gun would not scare him.”

Drummond Dignott, 19, a clerk, said he was working in the back of the store when the armed intruders entered about 8:20 p.m. He said a customer was also in the store, buying a T-shirt.

“They came in and said, ‘Everybody get down!’ ” Mr. Dignott said. One of the men hit Mr. Drame hard, “and then shots started going off.”

The police identified one of the two men killed as Leon Harris, 26, of 1212 Lincoln Place in Brooklyn. Mr. Harris was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital Center.

The other man who was shot, whose identity had not yet been released on Tuesday, was dead at the scene, the police said. Both had been shot in the torso, the police said.

The store owner is not expected to face any charges, the police said.

Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Department, said, “Normally we advise people to try to get out of harm’s way, but that is not always possible.” He added that it is unusual for a victim to disarm an attacker.

Mr. Drame is well-known along Nostrand Avenue, a busy commercial strip lined with salons, Caribbean restaurants and 99-cent stores. His store, near Lefferts Avenue, has no sign out front, but it has items for sale displayed in the window and is known as Aliyah’s, according to a neighbor.

Customers who are short of money are often extended credit by Mr. Drame, neighbors said.

He also lets customers duck inside to charge their cellphones, said Troy Wilson, 40, who grew up nearby.

On Tuesday morning, a small, brown-handled pistol lay on the sidewalk against the grate of a beauty salon next door, guarded by the police as they waited for crime scene investigators. One of the store’s windows, which displayed dozens of video game boxes, was broken and shards of glass were scattered in front with splotches of what looked like dried blood.

Neighbors said Mr. Drame opened the store about 10 years ago. Christopher Johnson, 38, who lives on the fifth floor of Mr. Drame’s building, said he has known Mr. Drame for about 12 years.

“A lot of guys try to test him,” Mr. Johnson said. “Why do these guys try to mess with him?”

Buffalo Pizza Deliveryman Shoots at Armed Robbers

October 11, 2008

Buffalo, New York

From the October 11, 2008 Buffalo News:

A pizza deliveryman fought off three robbers at gunpoint and shot one of them in the back Thursday night, police say.

The deliveryman, who works for Tomatoes Pizza on Kensington Avenue, walked up to the house in the 400 block of Dartmouth Avenue and was confronted by the three would-be robbers, police said. At least one of the bandits had a gun.

The deliveryman, whose name has not been released, works for the same pizza shop where another deliveryman was fatally wounded during a robbery on New Years Eve 16 years ago.

No charges have been filed in the overnight shooting and attempted robbery, as detectives continue to investigate.

Buffalo police say the deliveryman was not injured.

“He has a permit for the gun, and he apparently used it lawfully to defend himself,” Buffalo police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge said at mid-morning.

Police also have not identified the 15-year-old male who was shot once in the back during Thursday night’s robbery attempt.

Following the shooting, which occurred at about 9:45 p.m., the three attempted robbers fled to nearby Shirley Avenue, where at least one of them apparently lives. The wounded teen was taken from there to Erie County Medical Center, where police said he’s in stable condition.

New York: Man escapes flurry of bullets but accidentally shoots himself

August 30, 2008

Buffalo, New York

From the Buffalo News of August 14, 2008

Man escapes flurry of bullets but accidentally shoots himself

A man escaped a flurry of shots fired at him in a drive-by shooting, but when he tried to return fire, he accidentally shot himself, The Buffalo News learned today.

The man was in the 100 block of Hagen Street, in the Bailey-Delavan neighborhood, at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday when a burgundy vehicle pulled up to him and a gunman inside fired shots at him, according to Northeast District Police.

The man, whose identity is being withheld by The News for his protection, told detectives that he attempted to return fire and suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

No charges have been filed against the man nor has the gunman who fired from the vehicle been located.

The man was treated in Erie County Medical Center and released.

Robbers Driven Off In West Hempstead, NY

August 26, 2008

West Hempstead, NY

From the August 26, 2008 Newsday:

Two assailants picked on the wrong guy when they confronted a man exiting his car in his driveway in West Hempstead on Monday night, police said.

The 35-year-old homeowner, who owns a check-cashing business in the city, was armed — carrying his licensed Glock 9-mm pistol.

When one of the assailants fired at the man, he fired back. No one was hit by the gunfire on Oakford Street before the pair fled.

New York: Suspect shot during home invasion in southeast Rochester

May 9, 2008

Rochester, New York

From the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle of May 9, 2008

Suspect shot during home invasion in southeast Rochester

City Police officers early today were called to the scene of a home invasion in a southeast Rochester residence.

According to Monroe County emergency dispatchers, officers were called to 120 Laburnum Crescent, just before 1 a.m. Someone reportedly entered the residence and a confrontation ensued, dispatchers said.

Someone in the home allegedly shot the suspect in the back. That person ran from the scene and walked into Highland Hospital for assistance, dispatchers said. He was reportedly taken to Strong Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

Further details of the incident were not immediately available.

Laburnum Crescent is located in Upper Monroe neighborhood, west of Monroe Avenue and south of Interstate 490.

New York: Man shoots bear chasing pet dog

April 29, 2008

Colesville, New York

From the Press & Sun Bulletin of April 21, 2008

Man shoots bear chasing pet dog

Rusvinder S. Sandhu, of Route 79, Colesville, shot and wounded a black bear who was chasing his pet dog around 1:18 a.m. Sunday.

After he let out his one-year-old Belgian Shepard to go to the bathroom, Sandhu heard incessant barking and upon looking out a sliding door with a flash light he found a medium sized black bear chasing the pet around the backyard, police said.

Sandhu retrieved a 7 mm magnum bolt action rifle and fired a single shot striking the bear in the neck and dropping him under a bird feeder, police said.

The bear was still alive when Broome County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Mauser arrived, but the animal had to be dispatched with one 12 gauge shotgun slug for safety and humane purposes.

Sandhu told Mauser he was unaware bears in his area, but was now was able to figure out why his bird feeder had been knocked out of its location in a tree, according to a police report.