NEW YORK – A possible gang-related shooting by two men who opened fire on a group sitting on a bench on a New York City beach boardwalk crowded with people seeking relief from Thursday's hot weather left a teenage girl dead and four men wounded, police said.
The shootings by two gunmen happened during an altercation just before 5:30 p.m. on the Brighton Beach boardwalk in Brooklyn, said police spokesman Paul Browne.
He said police were investigating the possibility that it's a gang-related shooting. Police were questioning some people, but declined to say whether they were potential suspects, Browne said. He added that all of the victims were sitting on the same bench.
The girl who died was not identified. She was shot under the left armpit and died at Coney Island Hospital, where a 23-year-old man was in critical condition with a stomach wound. Also wounded were a 21-year-old, a 25-year-old and a 26-year-old. They were taken to Lutheran Hospital.
No arrests have been made. The investigation is continuing.
Pat Singer, the founder of the Brighton Neighborhood Association, said the hot weather brought hordes of young people to the beach Thursday. "It's massive chaos," she said.
Saya Suzuki, 30, was just about to sit down inside a boardwalk restaurant with her 6-year-old daughter, Sonya, when the shooting began just outside. Suzuki told The New York Times she heard about six shots, then grabbed her daughter and saw two teenagers run by her.
"I just picked up my daughter and got away from the bullets," she said. "It happened so quickly and I had to protect my daughter."
"Everybody was running and screaming," Joe Sierra told New York's Daily News. "It was chaotic for five to 10 minutes."
The neighborhood that borders Coney Island is home to a large Russian émigré population.