NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Gunfire, a severely wounded victim, and a possible mob connection came together Friday in a swanky Queens neighborhood.
As CBS 2’s Steve Langford reported, the incident happened overnight Thursday into Friday in the affluent neighborhood of Malba, east of College Point and west of the Whitestone Expressway. The scenic street where the shooting happened is lined with expensive homes.
“I thought they were fireworks,” a resident said. “I heard like four. I thought they were fireworks.”
A 39-year-old man was shot four times around 2:30 a.m. Friday, next to the Powell Cove and just off a street called Boulevard. He was taken to New York Hospital in Queens in critical condition, police said.
Police said a heavily-tattooed suspect with a gun fled the scene in a white Ford Fusion.
A police source told CBS 2 News the victim was taken out to a jetty, where he was shot. He was then able to call 911 and identify his shooter.
Police were searching Friday afternoon for Robert Sasso, 33, who is described as an associate of the Gambino mafia family and the son of an organized crime figure. Sasso was questioned, but not charged, in the shooting of a construction worker in Hell’s Kitchen last summer.
Sasso was also a suspect in another non-fatal shooting in Queens seven years ago, police sources said.
“It was pretty intense; something out of a movie,” a witness said.
Detectives and crime scene investigators late Friday were working on the scene – on a street better known for views of the Whitestone Bridge and for pricey mansions than for crime of any kind.
“There are properties here like $3 million, $2 1/2 (million) and above,” said realtor Leela Sharma.
But some neighbors reported a recent surge in loud late-night activity in the area.
“Every night, a lot of young kids with expensive cars are here making noise; screaming and drinking,” said local resident Eugenia Zaharopoulos.
The suspect in the shooting remained at large late Friday. Sasso was described as being 5 feet 9 inches tall and 180 pounds.
Police said Sasso’s tattoos include a large star in the center of his neck along the collar line, the letters “SMM” under his right eye, and a rosary and cross next to his left eye.
You may also be interested in these stories: