Shooting at Clinton Hill cleaners raises complaints of ‘drug-prone corner’ • Brooklyn Paper

Shooting at Clinton Hill cleaners raises complaints of ‘drug-prone corner’

Police are after a gunman who shot up a dry cleaners on Grand Avenue near Clifton Place on Thursday.

The barrage of bullets kicked off after a customer got into an argument with an employee of the Clean Society Cleaner at 2:30 pm, officers said. The customer whipped out a firearm and let off multiple shots at the 56-year-old worker, grazing him once on the neck, police said.

The victim was taken to Brooklyn Hospital Center where he was listed in stable condition.

The shooter, described as standing 5-feet-10 and weighing 155-pounds, got away, according to police. He was wearing a black skullcap, blue jeans, and a blue shirt, cops said.

Law enforcement officials claimed the shooting was not drug related, but neighbors and the local police precinct said the immediate area is a hotbed of illicit transactions.

“The corner there is a drug-prone corner,” said a spokeswoman from the 88th Precinct. “We’ve had reports that it’s a shady joint,” she said about the cleaners.

She added that Public Advocate Letitia James, who lives close by, has complained about it.

“She’s said, ‘You should look into that place,’ ” the spokeswoman said of James.

District Attorney Ken Thompson also resides in the neighborhood.

Neighbors and nearby businesses complain that drug sales are a constant occurrence in and around the store.

“It’s picturesque and quiet except for the small band of people that are hanging out on Grand and Clifton at all hours selling drugs in the open,” said a neighbor who asked that his name not be used for fear of reprisals.

The neighbor said he saw officers carrying cash and drugs out of the business in clear plastic bags, but police would not confirm that a drug investigation was under way or that any contraband was confiscated.

The drug activity has long gone on under the noses of police, and the pols who walk the same blocks, and the shooting should spur them to action, the neighbor said.

“The police are aware, the [politicians] who live in the community are aware, and the 88th Precinct is aware. Now Ken Thompson is aware,” he said. “I just don’t see anything being done. But, it’s blatantly taking place as we speak.”

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at mperlman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.

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