One man injured after shooter opens fire Downtown

Shots fired: Authorities swarmed the corner of Willoughby and Pearl streets after a gunman started shooting on Monday afternoon.
Photo by Julianne Cuba

A bullet struck a guy after at least one gunman opened fire at the corner of Pearl and Willoughby streets on Monday afternoon, according to a witness.

“They were standing right next to my car,” said Louis Allende, who parked his ride on Willoughby Street. “They walked up to the corner and let off the two shots, then ran down the block.”

The shooter fired two rounds in front of sandwich shop Blimpie around 3:45 pm, according to Allende, who said the incident occurred during a dismissal at the nearby Brooklyn Friends School on Pearl Street, sending departing youngsters running from the scene.

Staff at the private academy generally feel safe in the neighborhood, according to its top educator, but hearing the shots explode around the time the last bell rang had them worried about their pupils’ welfare.

“We’ve got students walking to the subway, who are walking home, and something like this is a concern,” said Larry Weiss, the head of Brooklyn Friends School.

Allende, who lives in the Bronx and works Downtown, said he watched the suspect draw a gun before shooting, and that the man fled the scene immediately afterward.

“Of course I was scared,” the witness said. “It was gunshots.”

The 19-year-old victim, who Allende said got grazed in the leg by a bullet, walked himself into Brooklyn Hospital shortly after being hit, but is not cooperating with authorities, according to Police Department spokesman Officer Andrew Lava, who couldn’t say whether he was also armed, or if any other people were involved.

Police, who are searching for two suspects in their ongoing investigation of the incident, didn’t immediately know what prompted the gunshots, but Allende alleged the altercation sounded personal and that the shooter was looking for his victim.

“I heard the comment, ‘Isn’t that the kid with the sweater that we’re looking for?’ ” the witness said.

The incident is the third shooting Downtown in almost as many months — in July, police arrested a teen for opening fire outside of Foot Locker on Fulton Mall, and in August, another shooter let bullets fly near New York University Tandon School of Engineering in MetroTech Commons.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.

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