A Brighton Beach boardwalk shooting yesterday left four young men wounded, one critically, and a teenage girl dead, reports The New York Daily News.
The popular Brooklyn beach, just east of the Coney Island beach and amusement area, was packed with teenagers for the annual Brooklyn-Queens Day, a day off from school for students in New York City.
It all started at about 5:20PM, according to The New York Post, as two cousins were walking on the boardwalk when they passed some Crips and looked at the gang members the wrong way.
"It was all over a glance," the 22 year-old man told the Post.
According to the News, one man used an umbrella to crack another man in the head, as the fight erupted near Brighton 6th St. It was then that an unidentified gunman fired eight rounds, first shooting into the air and then taking aim at the crowd.
People ran for cover and rushed into restaurants and other businesses, reports The New York Times. One woman, Saya Suzuki, told the Times she hunkered down in a restaurant for two hours after the shooting with her 6 year-old daughter.
Here's a video of the chaos that ensued on the boardwalk (WARNING: Graphic Language):
Police cannot yet confirm if the victims were targets or innocent bystanders.
The Daily News reports that the slain female was 16 year-old Tysha Jones, a junior at Norman Thomas High School who lived with her mother in an apartment in Harlem. She had begged and begged her mother to go to the beach with friends yesterday, as temperatures rose to 95 degrees. Her mother eventually gave in and let her go.
A devastated family friend told the News, ""Tysha got killed for enjoying a day at the beach," adding, "She was so excited about graduating from high school and going to college. Everyone around here loved her."
Trouble at Brighton Beach this time of year is not new. "These kids come not to swim, they come for turf fights," Pat Singer, president of the Brighton Beach Neighborhood Association told the Post."It's a problem every year. It's really hard on the businesses. All day long, all you see are hundreds of teenagers. Of course you're going to have problems."
A police source also told the Post, as he was pointing to empty Olde English malt liquor bottles littering the area, ""It was a bad combination of guns, heat, beer and angry young men,"
Two people were being questioned by police late Thursday, according to Reuters, but had not been named as suspects.
Gothamist has it that Twitter user, djslicknick wrote, “Just watched some idiot kid let off 8 rounds into a crowded beach. Some people have no sense. I'm never going to Brighton beach again," and then added, "yeah I saw like 4 ambulances... I saw the kid let off the shots.. It was a madhouse I just got on the train." Later, he Tweeted, "yoooo detectives showed up to my house this is nuts!!!" "I'm kinda nervous right now the detectives are taking me to their precinct in bk" and finally replied to another person "I have nothing to snitch about I don't know anyone."
CBS News reports today that police have still made no arrests and that the investigation is ongoing.