A mid-morning sidewalk argument erupted in gunfire on the edge of MetroTech Commons Downtown on Aug. 1, forcing workers in the office and education complex to take shelter as police swarmed the area in a futile search for a lone gunman.
Cops said the incident occurred about 11:15 am near the New York University Tandon School of Engineering near the northeastern edge of the plaza. Responding cops cordoned off an area on Jay Street between Myrtle Avenue and Johnson Place, where investigators recovered a bullet on the pavement, according to an officer at the scene. Police later told The Brooklyn Paper that no one was injured.
One witness who was walking past the scene on her way to work said she heard a heated argument, followed suddenly by the sound of a single gunshot.
“I just heard people arguing, and I looked over and saw a guy take out a gun and I heard a really loud bang,” said the woman, who declined to give her name.
Another witness described someone he believed to be the gunman’s would-be target cowering, and desperately begging him not to open fire.
“They were in this position, prone position, and whoever it was hollered ‘Don’t shoot!’ ” said Flatbush resident Barry Katz, who said he was standing in line to buy theater tickets at a nearby TKTS kiosk when the gunman opened fire.
A gun enthusiast who witnessed the attack said the shooter was brandishing a 9mm Glock handgun and, after firing the shot briefly hid behind a row of nearby building pillars before running off.
“I noticed from my building [the shooter] was behind a pole near the district office, then he took off on foot,” said Anthony Garguilo, who works in the district office of the utility National Grid, located at 1 MetroTech Center on Jay Street, steps away from where the shot was fired.
After he fled to safety inside the National Grid lobby, Garguilo urged security there to take measures to lock down the building to keep occupants from leaving or intruders from entering until the danger had passed. Soon afterward, workers inside were instructed via intercom to “shelter in place.”
“I ran into my building, and told them to lock it down,” he said.
Fortunately, Garguilo said, the gunman’s single shot went wide, and there did not appear to be any injuries. He described the shooter as a middle-aged man, about 5-foot-9-inches tall, and wearing a blue shirt with a logo on it.
The NYPD Office of Public Information confirmed that a single shot had been fired, and that there were no reported injuries, no arrests, and an investigation was continuing.
This is the second shooting in a month to occur within walking distance of the Metrotech Center, and a 19-year-old man was arrested for allegedly opening fire at Fulton Mall and Gallatin Place on Friday, July 13, striking three people.