BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Residents in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn are shocked by a totally unexpected shooting Thursday night that left four members of the Jewish community patrol injured.
Members of the Shomrim – a licensed, unarmed community group that works with police – spotted a man exposing himself in his car to children, but when they went to grab him for police, he started firing.
The wild scene that erupted in Borough Park ended with the gunman, 33-year-old David Flores, in an ambulance. Police say he shot himself in the arm after members of Shomrim tried to wrestle his gun away.
The events on Thursday night, however, are part of a story that actually began the day before. According to Gadi Hershkop of the Shomrim, Flores was first seen exposing himself to children on Wednesday.
“As they saw him again, they blocked off the street, he couldn’t get anywhere,” Hershkop said. “As they came out of the cars to hold him for the cops, he took out the gun and started shooting randomly.”
“He’s been arrested previously for public lewdness, arrested for possession of a gun, arrested twice for robbery – he has a total of nine arrests,” NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said.
In trying to wrestle the gun from Flores, four members of the Shomrim were shot. Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who was at the scene Thursday night, noted all the children who could have been hit by random gunfire. He said the neighborhood needs an increased police presence.
“You know those good old patrolmen, they guys who walk the street, the guys who come around the community? I want to see them as often as I see traffic agents,” Assemblyman Hikind said.
Why would Assemblyman Hikind call for more foot patrols if he also said the local precinct does a good job? Because, he said, nothing is as effective a deterrent as cops in uniform walking the street.
Police say when the Shomrim patrol first spotted the suspect on Wednesday, he escaped by driving his car across two sidewalks.
Flores may be charged with public lewdness as well as attempted murder.