BELLMORE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nearly two dozen schools on Long Island were locked down Monday following a home invasion, police chase and shootout in Bellmore.
The nightmare began shortly after 9 a.m. when four men, armed with guns and knives, broke into a home on Bellmore Avenue and made off with proceeds, police said.
1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports: Apparent Home Invasion Prompts Police Chase
Four bullet holes riddled a car with Pennsylvania plates following a police shootout not far from a Merrick elementary school. Distraught parents soon learned of dramatic school lockdowns in Merrick, Bellmore, Baldwin, Wantagh, Seaford and Levittown as police closed in on armed suspects.
“They told us not to worry, that we were going to be safe,” one student told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
“They didn’t tell the children what was going on. They just locked it down which was very appropriate,” a parent added.
Following a 911 call from a frantic neighbor, cops chased the perps across the Babylon Turnpike and onto Sunrise Highway, following the daring home invasion. Victim Ghulam Sumra said he thought he was going to die.
“He put a knife on my neck … said, ‘Where’s the money? Going to kill you.’ He tied me up with my phone with cell phone charger,” Sumra said.
Sumra’s brother and sister-in-law, who own a hair salon, were also tied to a bedpost and struck about the head with a weapon, police said. The home was ransacked, with $7,000 in cash reported stolen.
As the suspects sped away, CBS 2’s McLogan reports a neighbor gave chase before Nassau County police picked up the pursuit.
Two of the suspects tried to flee on foot when they drove over to Merrick but were apprehended after a shootout with police, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reports. A third suspect was picked up in front a car dealership on Sunrise Highway. A fourth suspect was collared in cab on the Southern State Parkway and is also in custody.
“When I was driving down Sunrise Highway there was just a lot of traffic and I just saw cop cars coming out of everywhere — every single direction — and I just didn’t know what was going on,” witness Alan Vukelic told McLogan. “I find out there was a home invasion and shots fired.”
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“We heard sirens all over the place, we ran outside, there had to be at least 20 cars — marked, unmarked — all kinds of things,” witness Joe Settineri said.
At least six people were hospitalized — including two of the victims from the Bellmore Avenue home, a police officer who suffered a minor leg injury responding to the home and one of the suspects who suffered a gunshot wound to the leg.
Police credited neighbors and friends of the home invasion victims for their emergency calls to police with specific information on the getaway car, including the license plate number.
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