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March 26, 2019

Gang-fueled bar brawl in Queens leads cops to shoot armed suspect

March 13, 2019
Cops shot and critically wounded an armed 38-year-old man after a brawl and shooting at a Queens bar early Saturday, officials said. (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)

Cops shot and critically wounded an armed man after a gang-fueled brawl and shooting at a Queens bar early Saturday, officials said.

According to police, the 38-year-old man was being tossed out of the RRR Bar and Hookah Lounge on Liberty Ave. in Ozone Park about 4 a.m. when he allegedly shot a 32-year-old man in the foot.

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“There was a dispute inside the bar, possibly gang-motivated,” NYPD Chief of Patrol Rodney Harrison said. “The individual that was shot in the foot seemed to do a heroic act by getting involved and stopping the individual from shooting other people that were coming outside.”

It was not immediately clear if the shot man was a bar worker or a patron, Harrison said.

Meanwhile, a plainclothes NYPD anti-crime unit — a sergeant and three police officers — was passing by as the gunman and his victim fought over a pistol.

“As the officers exited their unmarked police vehicle, they observed the victim and suspect fighting for control of a firearm,” Harrison said.

“The officers ordered the suspect to drop the firearm. The suspect refused the officers’ demands, at which time the officers discharged their firearms. The suspect was shot in the torso and arm.”

A Detective from the Force Investigation Division takes a photo of the suspect's recovered weapon on Saturday.
A Detective from the Force Investigation Division takes a photo of the suspect’s recovered weapon on Saturday. (Theodore Parisienne for New York Daily News)

Three of the four cops fired their service weapons, officials said. It wasn’t immediately disclosed how many shots they fired.

Neighbor Rigoberto Bravo said he heard the bullet barrage, and immediately thought of his daughters sleeping in the next room.

“I got scared,” Bravo, 32, said Saturday. “My daughters were asleep and I go run over there and check, and I stay with them there.”

“It’s scary because that’s never happened there before,” he added. “It’s right behind me.”

Night owls hanging at another bar about a block away scrambled for cover when they heard the shots, breaking a glass door in the process, residents said.

Medics rushed the wounded gunman to Jamaica Hospital, where he was in critical condition. His name wasn’t released. Police recovered his handgun along with a knife.

Police recovered this 9-mm. pistol following the shooting.
Police recovered this 9-mm. pistol following the shooting. (NYPD)

The younger victim, and a cop suffering from tinnitus, also were taken to Jamaica Hospital.

“There is body-worn camera footage of the incident, which is being reviewed by our Force Investigation Division,” Harrison said.

Neighbors said the Queens nightspot has opened and closed under different names over the years — and that it’s a hotspot for fist fights and stabbings.

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“There’s always fighting at the bar,” said one neighbor, who wished not to be named. “Not bullets, but always yelling and fighting.”

The Ozone Park Residents Block Association says the organization is “disgusted” with the RRR Lounge and the chaos it maintains stems from the boozy business.

“The police have been called to this location on numerous occasions and the neighbors, surrounding residents, and businesses all corroborate the seriousness of the crimes and criminal element this bar brings,” the Association said in a statement that demanded city agencies look into the matter.

Deputy Inspector Brian Bohannon, the commanding officer of the 106th Precinct, said his officers have gotten repeated 311 calls about the bar that are mostly noise complaints.

“There was an unrelated incident recently where someone was struck with a bottle outside,” Bohannon said. “The place is known to the precinct and we’ve had many visits at that location.”

It was the second police-involved shooting this week.

On Tuesday, cops shot and wounded Michael Cordero, an emotionally disturbed 34-year-old man found knocking on doors in a Harlem apartment building. When police confronted Cordero, he pulled a black wallet out of his pocket and pretended it was a gun, officials said.

Cordero, was charged with burglary, menacing and weapons possession after cops found a knife in his pocket.

With Theodore Parisienne

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