2007-03-16 / Front Page

Man Shot In Groin Inside Liquor Store

By Brian Magoolaghan

By Brian Magoolaghan

The handgun that police say was used in the shooting was found in a backyard that the suspects were seen fleeing into.
The handgun that police say was used in the shooting was found in a backyard that the suspects were seen fleeing into. A man was shot in the groin last Friday night when an argument between young men escalated and gunfire broke out inside a liquor store near the Hammel Houses, police said.

The shooting took place at about 11:20 p.m. last Friday night inside Dave's Liquor, located at 87-04 Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The victim, 21-year-old Ray Smart of Long Island City, had an argument with two black men in their late teens or early 20s, cops said. A third black male burst into the liquor store, pulled a gun and fired at Smart.

The bullet struck the 21-year-old in his groin and left an exit wound on his buttocks.

It was unclear what sparked the argument and the shooting that followed. A representative for Dave's Liquor could not be reached on Thursday.

The gunman and the two young men Smart was seen arguing with fled the store and ran north on Beach 87 Street, according to police. They were joined by at least two others who ran with them into the backyard of 339 Beach 87 Street.

The incident sparked a major police response, and officers surrounded the backyard. The NYPD Aviation Unit also responded and searched from above, but no arrests were made.

Investigators found one 9mm round and a 9mm shell casing at the scene. A silver handgun with a black handle was found and recovered in the backyard after daybreak on Saturday.

Smart, who was unable to describe the gunman, was taken to Jamaica Hospital and underwent surgery. He was listed in stable condition.

The shooting is being investigated by the 100 Precinct Detective Squad. Anyone with information is asked to call 718-318-4221.

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