4 killed, 5 injured in shooting at illegal Brooklyn gambling den
NEW YORK — Four Brooklyn gamblers were killed early Saturday when an enraged fellow card player opened fire inside an illegal Brooklyn gambling den just before sunrise, authorities said.
Bodies were scattered across the club and playing cards still lying on the table when cops arrived at the Crown Heights bloodbath, where three other gunshot victims escaped with their lives.
A suspect was quickly in custody for the quadruple homicide, with a high-ranking police source telling the New York Daily News that cops believe he was either the triggerman or played another role in the slayings. The shooting spree apparently started in a dispute over a card game inside the cramped club, the source added.
Two of the victims were lying dead on the floor alongside an oblong card table, with toppled chairs in the background. One man’s baseball cap and phone were on the ground nearly, with a five of clubs resting on the floor barely a foot from his head, another source told The News.
The second pair was killed in a long narrow hallway, where an empty Corona bottle, four shell casings and a chicken bone flanked another victim, the source said.
As many as 15 shots were fired inside the first-floor Triple A Aces Club on Utica Avenue near Dean Street around 7 a.m., with the slain victims all pronounced dead at the scene, said NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea. No one was immediately charged, although police were questioning several eyewitnesses as the probe continued.
“A bit of a chaotic scene,” said Shea. “ … We have some individuals back at the 77th Precinct, and we’re trying to piece together exactly what transpired.”
Cops recovered a 9 mm handgun and a revolver at the crime scene. The medical examiner removed the bodies one by one in the hours after the gunshots echoed through the neighborhood.
“The audacity of the shooter,” said local resident Dawn Bradshaw. “It’s just shocking because it’s a block away from a precinct.”
The club, Triple A Aces, bills itself as a “private and social rental space” for “food, fun and entertainment” according to a sign above its door.
The family of shooting victim Dominick Wimbush, 47, of Brooklyn, was crushed Saturday to learn he was gunned down just six days before his birthday.
“My cousin doesn’t have any enemies,” said Kawonna Wimbush. “He was a good son, a good father and a good cousin. I don’t think he was the target. He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Wimbush, the father of two, was devoted to his mother and shared lunch with her on most days, according to a neighborhood friend.
“A good dude, a straight guy,” the friend said. “It’s crazy. It’s got me numb and strange. It’s a tragedy.”
Three gunshot victims survived and a fourth patron suffered a broken leg trying to flee the carnage, authorities said. The FDNY reported a fifth person was hospitalized with minor scrapes and bruises after the gunfire stopped. The wounded were taken to Kings County Hospital and Brookdale Medical Center.
Cops said the ages of those shot ranged from 32 to 49 years old, and two of the victims were from out of state. The identities of the other victims were withheld pending notification of relatives, police said.
Neighbors watched in shock as their quiet Saturday morning was interrupted by sirens and crime scene tape.
“It’s sad,” local resident Steve Pruitt, 59, said. “Whoever did that shooting … (he) didn’t care about anything.”
Building owner Samuel Revells said he leases the first-floor space to a man who rents the spot out for birthday parties and other events. Revells insisted he was unaware of any illegal activities inside the club.
“I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what happened,” he told The News. “It’s not my operation. I understand people got killed there and it’s crazy and I’m very upset, very upset.”
He described the man as “a stand-up guy,” adding that there were no complaints in the two years since the tenant began renting.
“I feel very bad about what happened,” said Revells.
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