NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A mother is fighting for her life after being shot while trying to protect her daughter during an attempted robbery outside a hotel near John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Police believe the same suspects are behind several other robberies in the area.
The latest incident happened in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn at 144-10 135th Ave. in Jamaica around 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
The victim, identified as 53-year-old Andrea Koller of Baltimore, and daughter had just driven in from Maryland, and according to a police source, the daughter was supposed to fly to South Africa Friday morning for a semester abroad, CBS2’s Steve Langford reported.
Koller was shot in the chest trying to stop a suspect robbing her 20-year-old daughter sitting in their car just outside the hotel.
Local residents heard the violence unfold.
“It’s bad and it’s getting worse in this neighborhood.” neighbor Andrew Hickson said.
A woman, who prefers not to be identified, said she spoke to Koller in the hotel lobby moments before the shooting.
“She was leaving and I was checking in and two minutes later her daughter came in screaming hysterically,” the witness said. “She was hysterical.”
When Koller came back outside she confronted the suspect. The suspect demanded her purse, she refused and screamed. The suspect then hit her with a gun. Koller fought back, that’s when she was shot.
The violent encounter began with the suspect jumping in the driver’s seat of the victim’s car yelling at the daughter in the passengers seat.
“Give me all your money,” the suspect said.
He then grabbed the young woman’s rings and hit her in the head with his gun.
“If your mother doesn’t have any money I’m going to shoot you,” he said.
The suspect and a partner are reported to have fled toward the Van Wyck Expressway. Police said the suspects drove off in a 2010 white Volkswagen Jetta.
The suspect has been described as a black male, he is about 30-years-old, 5’11”, with a medium build, and was wearing a black ski mask and a black jacket.
The victim’s vehicle was towed by police Friday morning.
The Hampton Inn front desk says it has no comment.
The daughter has been treated for minor head wounds after being pistol-whipped.
Her mother is listed in critical but stable condition after surgery.
Police believe the same suspects are responsible for at least four other robberies or attempted robberies in the neighborhood, sources said.
• On Dec. 28 at 7 p.m., 64-year-old man was sitting in a Mercedes Benz in a parking lot outside the Comfort Inn, opposite 144-25 135th Ave., when to suspects pulled him out of the vehicle, hit him and took his wallet and car. They drove off in the victim’s vehicle, sources said.
• On Jan. 3 at 12:01 a.m., at the corner of 135th Avenue and 142nd Street in Queens, a 54-year-old woman was sitting in her vehicle when a man opened the door, covered her eyes and demanded her property. He took her wallet, removed the cash and threw the empty wallet back at her, sources said. The suspect fled in a dark-colored vehicle.
• On Jan. 5 at 7 a.m., a 46-year-old man was standing behind the Days Inn hotel at 144-26 153rd Ct. when two men, one with a gun, forced him into his Nissan Altima rental car. They drove to 154-30 156th St. where they removed his property, police said. The suspects fled in a waiting dark-colored Cadillac Escalade.
• On Jan. 9 at 12:20 a.m., a 45-year-old woman was walking into the parking lot at 144-02 135th Ave. behind the Hampton Inn, when a man called out from inside a Mercedes Benz as she walked past. She turned and saw a man pointing a handgun at her and demanded money. The victim fled on foot, but did not take anything, sources said.