Crown Heights illegal gambling den
In the early hours of Saturday morning, around 15 shots were fired in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. The incident is linked to what police believe was an illegal gambling den, which was found to hold multiple cards and dice.
Detectives announced at a news conference that two guns were recovered at the scene and that those present continue to be interviewed. No arrests have been made since.
Not known if robbery or dispute
What is known so far is that four people died in the shooting at the Triple A Aces catering hall on Utica Avenue. Another three were seriously injured with gunshot wounds but are expected to survive.
The victims have been identified as Terence Bishop, 36; Dominick Wimbush, 47; Chester Goode, 37; and John Thomas, 32. All four men were from Brooklyn.
a little preliminary to make a speculation whether it’s a gambling dispute, whether it’s a robbery”
New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said of the incident: “It is not a large location. We will go where the evidence leads us, but it’s a little preliminary to make a speculation whether it’s a gambling dispute, whether it’s a robbery.”
Cheating may have led to shooting
The number of homicides in the neighborhood in northern Brooklyn, including Crown Heights, has risen by 10% this year, with 54 cases recorded since January.
Speaking to The New York Post, sources believe the fracas was caused by one of the deceased, Chester Goode. Just before 7am on Saturday, he reportedly fired a shot into the ceiling when he suspected cheating.
He was later found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. According to sources, his friends are also believed to be among the victims. A security guard who allegedly tried to stop the violence also lost his life in the shooting.
Police found hundred-dollar bills still lying on the floor of the crime scene.
Gunshots had relatives worried
On hearing the gunshots, several relatives rushed to the scene, with many panicking that their family and friends could not be accounted for. One woman was heard screaming “He won’t pick up the phone! He won’t answer. Oh God!”
Samuel Revells, the owner of the building, has said he was not aware of the gambling den setup, and that he only leases the room out for family functions. He described how:
I was on my way over to fix something and I have tenants calling me telling me what happened. It’s all over money.”
According to Tony Herbert, a local community advocate from the New York Multi-Cultural Restaurant and Nightlife Chamber of Commerce, this wasn’t the only gambling venue operating in NYC without a permit. He observed that “[s]ome are law-abiding, others don’t have the proper permits and operate under the radar praying that incidents like this [don’t] happen.”