GREAT NECK, N.Y. (CBS 2 / WCBS 880/ 1010 WINS) — The owner of a store on Long Island was shot and police are investigating if he was the victim of an armed robbery or deliberately targeted.
Custom Auto Care Shop on Northern Boulevard is a garage that installs stereos and alarms in vehicles, owned by a man neighboring business people identified as Carlos.
Police said the gunman came into the shop around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday and shot the owner in the stomach.
“The 39-year-old owner of the business apparently was confronted by what’s described to us as a male black, who came into the business. There might have been words discussed, we’re not really sure, but apparently he was shot once. Possibly more than once,” said Lt. Kevin Smith of Nassau County Police.
At a car-detailing shop next door, an employee said immediately after the shooting, he saw the victim on his knees outside where a t-shirt was on the sidewalk. “He was right there holding his stomach, kneeling down, holding stomach with bleeding on it, and that’s it,” William told CBS 2′s John Slattery.
It’s believed the gunman, about six-feet tall, then got away on foot eastbound on Northern Blvd. The victim was taken to a North Shore University hospital to undergo surgery.
“We just work over here. He do his business. We do our business. That’s it,” William said. Asked if robbery was behind the shooting, he answered: “Probably, we don’t know.”
“There has to be a reason as to why it happened, I don’t know that it’s just a random shooting,” local business owner Jonathan Osmond told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.
“It’s uncertain whether he was a target or attempted robbery. Remains to be seen,” Smith said.
Police combed the area with a helicopter and squad cars, and questioned possible witnesses, like one neighboring locksmsith who was surprised the shooting took place in Great Neck, a low crime area.
“One of the safest, I think, in Nassau County. I heard he got shot. It’s amazing because we’ve been neighbors,” said businessman Demitrio Flores.
“I’m shocked that something like this happened, I’ve owned a business down the street for the last 10 years and there’s very little crime,” Osmond said.