Police say they have arrested one of the two gunmen who killed a man and wounded four bystanders — including an off-duty cop — in a Fulton Street beauty parlor in a classic rubout on Oct. 27.
Cops said they collared an East New York resident in his home last Tuesday, but did not announce the arrest until the 22-year-old was arraigned last Thursday.
He was charged with murder and weapons possession, though his accomplice is still at large.
The Monday afternoon hit brought to mind the neighborhood’s all-too-recent dark days, when crime and killings were common.
“It was like the Wild West,” said Sivena Smith, a cashier in the Cake Man Raven bakery on Fulton Street, where the murdered man had just bought a piece of cake. “I’m just glad my appointment [in the beauty parlor] wasn’t until Thursday.”
Witnesses and police sources said that two men jumped from a dark SUV, possibly a Chevy Tahoe, and began shooting at a 19-year-old pedestrian who had just stepped out of the renowned bakery at around 1:30 pm.
The victim fled down the street and sought cover in the De lux Gallery, a salon, but the shooters chased him inside and killed him with a single bullet to the head. Police said he was dead on arrival at the hospital.
Four other people were hurt in the afternoon attack — two women and two men. Three were inside the beauty parlor, but according to an 88th Precinct source, one man was struck by an errant bullet while waiting for a bus on Fulton Street. They were taken to Bellevue and Kings County hospitals.
The store’s owner was one of the victims. She was shot in the leg.
Another victim was a 41-year-old off-duty police officer getting her hair cut in the salon, which is between South Portland Avenue and South Oxford Street at 1:50 pm. The officer, who works out of the 76th Precinct stationhouse on Union Street in Carroll Gardens, was shot in the foot.
The broad-daylight murder turned the heart of Fort Greene into a media circus, but 15 years ago, when crimes rates were much higher in this precinct, such an event would barely have registered as a blip on the city’s radar.
Compared to 1993, for example, there has been 72 percent less crime this year. And, overall, murder is down more than 85 percent since that year.
But employees of Greene Community Pharmacy next door to the barbershop were talking about the violence.
“Who could imagine that happening around here?” said a clerk from Bedford-Stuyvesant. “But it proves you’re never totally safe.”
©2008 Community News Group
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