Bouncer Charged With Murder Claims He Is Not the Shooter

A bouncer accused of killing a man and wounding three others outside a Manhattan lounge says he is not the shooter, and that another gunman was in the crowd the night of the violence.

"The cops need to go after the other gunman," Stephen Sakai said from the Rikers Island jail on Friday.

Interviews with the bouncer appeared in Saturday's editions of the Daily News and New York Post.

Sakai, 30, of Brooklyn, faces charges of murder, attempted murder and assault in the Tuesday night shootings outside the Opus 22 lounge.

Police also are investigating whether Sakai was involved in three unsolved killings last year.

Sakai said that he had a gun at work Tuesday, but he never took it out from his waistband. He could not explain why he had brought the weapon.

Assistant District Attorney Charles Whitt said during Sakai's arraignment on Thursday that the shootings happened after Sakai and other bouncers tried to clear the club of patrons. He said one man insisted on waiting for his girlfriend to return from the bathroom.

Whitt said Sakai shot the man in the groin after a confrontation, and another man in the neck when he tried to intervene. The bouncer shot a third man, Gustavo Cuadros, 25, of Red Bank, New Jersey, in the back of the neck, the prosecutor said.

Cuadros was killed by the gunshot, a felony complaint filed in court quotes the medical examiner's office as saying.

A fourth victim was shot in the back as he tried to flee, said Whitt, who described Sakai as a "stone-cold killer."

Sakai said that during the confrontation, his gun flashed from underneath his clothing and he heard someone yell that they were going to "'get the gun."'

As he was walking back toward the lounge, "I heard a shot and then I got hit on the head," Sakai said.