Three men were shot dead in a hail of gunfire outside a Midtown rental space where a rap video was filmed Tuesday night – gruesome neighbors who saw the gang-related shooting erupt into the street, according to police and witnesses.
At least ten shots were exchanged between two groups outside the location near the West 38th Street and Fifth Avenue intersection around 10:40 p.m. – sending witnesses scrambling to safety, sources said.
âI saw a body, someone lying on the floor, someone else lying on their stomach with their hands above their head,â said Ted Deutermann, a 54-year-old jewelry designer, who saw the incident from an apartment across the street.
âThen I saw him grab a backpack and throw it under a car near him. I was afraid it was a bomb.
âI was surprised,â he said. “I didn’t expect a gang to be in this neighborhood.”
The shooting appears to be linked to a gang, according to police sources.
The gunfire erupted after a group from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, posted about a party – which drew dozens of people to the location – in a video on social media. A rival group from Crown Heights noticed the posts, showed up at the event and opened fire as the Fort Greene crew departed, sources said.
One of the three victims, 24, was shot in the chest and sustained injuries that were initially considered life threatening, but was in stable condition as of Wednesday morning, cops said.
A 27-year-old victim was shot in the abdomen and the third man, 19, was shot in the leg, police said. They were also hospitalized in stable condition.
Police cordoned off the block as victims bled on the street, said Laura Harris, 36, who works at nearby Berry Jewelry.
âThere were helicopters everywhere, cops everywhere, the whole neighborhood was closed. You could see people lying on the ground, it was a bit scary, certainly not typical of the area, âshe said.
Onlookers, including employees of the Isla restaurant across the street, were stunned and frightened by the attack.
âAt first I thought it was fireworks until our security guard said to come down,â said Sam MacIntosh, 32, general manager of the Aussie-style brewery. “[It was] obviously very shocking that it was right outside, literally right outside, at the door of our restaurant.
Cops on Wednesday said the 27 and 19-year-old victims had been taken into custody.
Police also arrested a 17-year-old man who has been the subject of 10 previous arrests, including one for a shooting incident when he was 14, sources said. At least four firearms have been recovered.
Police are seeking to question about two dozen people who remained inside the building after the gunfire rang out, sources said.
About 130 people were inside the space where the rap video was shot, cops said.