Two men and a woman were killed in a hail of bullets outside a Bronx strip mall Thursday morning.
A gunman opened fire in front of 620 Castle Hill Ave., between Cincinnatus and Randall Aves., in Castle Hill around 9:45 a.m., authorities said. The woman was handing out insurance pamphlets outside a diner and was likely hit by a stray bullet, sources said.
Bystanders ran for their lives or took shelter under cars and behind benches.
The men, both 33, were shot in the head. The woman, 45, was shot in the torso. All three were rushed to Jacobi Medical Center, where they were declared dead on arrival.
“EMS quickly responded to the scene and transported and transported the victims to Jacobi hospital, where unfortunately all three victims were subsequently pronounced deceased,” said Jason Wilcox, assistant chief of detectives in the Bronx
Christina Aguilera, 25, a waitress at the Shore Haven Diner and an EMT, said one of the victims dropped into the eatery to use the bathroom moments before he the shooting.
He left and was killed moments later outside the diner, she said.
“There was a woman on top of him screaming, ‘Why me! Why me?!’ I think it was his mother,” a shaken Aguilera said. “It looked like a movie.”
“I saw a woman under a car,” she added. “I thought she was crying. But she wasn’t moving.”
The third victim lay lifeless in the street a few yards away, she said.
A clerk at 5 Kings Deli said he saw two large groups of men in the strip mall parking lot outside the bodega brawling before the shooting.
“Somebody got shot — then they ran over and shot him in the face three times,” said the 28-year-old clerk.
Juan Carlos Zapeta, 58, another witness, said he ducked when he heard the bullets fly.
“I heard four shots. Everybody started running and screaming,” he said, “They were running for their lives. I got scared too. I said, what is happening?”
Cops believe the shooter was wearing green or black shorts and a green T-shirt. He was last seen running into the Castle Hill Houses across the street, sources said.
Police believe the shooting is gang-related. There were no immediate arrests.