Two young men were killed in a shooting last night on a busy restaurant street in Queens (NYC), and two more were wounded in Brooklyn and The Bronx as the weekend began.
The NYPD’s Shot Spotter detection system recorded at least 14 shots fired near the corner of Steinway St. and Astoria Blvd. around 10:30 p.m. Friday, the NYPD said. The shooting occurred at a row of neighborhood restaurants specializing in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. A mosque is also directly across the street, the Daily News detailed.
Officers found Xavier Roberts, 22, lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds to his stomach and legs. The second victim, Jaheim Hamilton (21), was wounded in the torso a block away at 24-35 38th St. Both young men were rushed to Elmhurst Hospital but could not be saved.
Both were residents of The Bronx and were in Queens last night with another man, Roberts’ brother, who was unharmed.
Roberts’ brother told police the three were walking down Steinway St. when a man approached them from behind and started shooting, but he couldn’t see his face.
“My brother was a role model. My brother was a hero,” the unidentified brother told the Daily News. “Any enemies he had were out of envy.” Witnesses saw two men run toward a waiting black Jeep Cherokee and flee. NYPD believes the victims were targeted, but the motive for the shooting is unclear.
According to a law enforcement source, Roberts had no criminal record but was wanted for questioning in two shootings that occurred in 2019 and 2020. Hamilton had been arrested once before, but for a misdemeanor. They were the third men to be shot dead on Astoria streets in five days, following Troy Evans (36) on Monday.
Shortly after that, in Brooklyn, a 25-year-old man was shot in the left leg during a dispute in Brownsville. And in The Bronx, around 1 a.m., a man was stabbed in the neck during another dispute on Washington Avenue near East 170th St. Both were hospitalized in stable condition, the New York Post reported.
No arrests have been made or suspects identified in either case. Anyone with information should call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) and in Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), also via crimestoppers.nypdonline.org or by text message to 274637 (CRIMES), followed by TIP577. All communications are strictly confidential.
Young people are increasingly central to New York’s gun violence as victims and perpetrators, particularly in shootings and knife attacks. In September, an NYPD report found that teen recidivism had increased dramatically over the past five years, and the number of gunmen and their underage victims had tripled.