2007-04-27 / Front Page

Two People Shot At Local Housing Complex

By Brian Magoolaghan

By Brian Magoolaghan

Aaron Gray sits in the back of an EMS ambulance Tuesday after being shot once in his right arm. A 43-year-old woman was also shot twice during the incident. Photo by Doug Macleod
Aaron Gray sits in the back of an EMS ambulance Tuesday after being shot once in his right arm. A 43-year-old woman was also shot twice during the incident. Photo by Doug Macleod Police are investigating a shooting incident on Tuesday afternoon that left two residents of a city housing complex in Edgemere with gunshot wounds to their extremities.

Aaron Gray, 23, and Ethel Lorre, 43, both of the Beach 41 Street Houses, were shot at the complex at about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, police said.

Gray, who remained conscious throughout the ordeal, told police that he walked into the lobby of 38-08 Beach Channel Drive and was confronted by a black male wearing a ski mask, according to an NYPD source. The masked gunman opened fire on Gray, striking him once in his right arm as he ran away. The gunman continued shooting and struck Lorre, an apparently unintended target who was standing outside the building.

The shooting brought a massive response by police who searched the complex for a suspect and sealed off part of Beach Channel Drive, rerouting traffic around the crime scene. EMS workers attended to Gray, who sat upright in the back of an ambulance. Lorre lay on the street side of a parked car for several minutes with two gunshot wounds to her left leg. A small crowd of people, including her daughter, surrounded her before she was stretchered to a waiting ambulance.

Both victims were taken to area hospitals and were expected to recover from their injuries, said police.

Sources said detectives are also investigating an unrelated assault at 38-08 Beach Channel Drive last Sunday in which a 57-year-old man was beaten by an assailant wielding a chair leg.

The victim in that attack, Allen Womack, also a resident of the Beach 41 Street Houses, suffered a gash across the back of his head and may have been shot at, according to police.

Womack fled to his car and left the scene, but police, who were given a description of his gray, late-model Dodge, pulled him over at Beach 22 Street and Seagirt Boulevard about 10 minutes later. Officers discovered that Womack was bleeding profusely from the wound to his head.

He told police he was approached behind 38-08 Beach Channel Drive by a black male in his 20s, who accused Womack of being a "snitch." Womack said he then heard gunfire ring out and felt a blow to the back of his head. Witnesses reported hearing shots, but investigators determined that it was the leg of a chair that was used to inflict the wound Womack suffered.

The 57-year-old was taken to St. John's Episcopal Hospital where doctors used about a dozen stitches to close the gash to this head. Womack could not further identify his attacker, police said, and no arrests were made in either incident at press time.

Meanwhile, people around the Beach 41 Street Houses, a four-building complex between Beach 38 and Beach 41 Streets that is home to more than 1,700 people, say gunfire can often be heard in that area - especially after dark. People The Wave spoke to said they're hoping the NYPD increases its presence in the area. They asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals.

The Beach 41 Street Houses has been the scene of many shootings through the years and has also been the focus of NYPD investigations that led to the arrest of dozens of alleged drug dealers.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the 101 Precinct Detective Squad at 718- 868-2428 or Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

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