CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Police Monday afternoon were on the scene of a suspected gang killing right inside of a neighborhood deli.
As CB2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, a clerk on duty was also wounded during the early-morning shooting, but is expected to recover.
Detectives scoured the crime scene outside the El Campesino deli on Calebs Path, searching dumpsters and sewer drains looking for the gun used to shoot and kill a man who had just entered the store.
The man was identified late Monday as Esteban Alvarado-Bonilla, 29. He was taken to Northwell Health Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead, Suffolk County police said.
“At this point, we do believe that the shooting victim was targeted. We believe the male was the intended target, and we are investigating this right now as a gang-related incident,” said Suffolk County police Homicide Squad Detective Lt. Kevin Breyer.
Police said a female clerk on duty was hit by a stray bullet. She was not an intended target and is expected to recover.
The Central Islip deli sits right on the border of Brentwood. The neighboring community has been terrorized by gangs for years.
Just last year, Suffolk County police arrested dozens of gang members after several teens were brutally murdered.
Some victims’ bodies were dumped right on the street. Others were dumped inside a gang hideout in the nearby grounds of the now-closed Kings Park Psychiatric Center.
Residents in the area are fearful.
“We’re not safe anymore anyplace,” said Lilian Betancourt of Brentwood. “We’re really afraid like to walk around the street, because it’s not safe no more.”
“This is aggravating, aggravating,” said Kenneth Evans of Brentwood. “People getting shot over nothing every day – don’t make no sense.”
Suffolk County police said the shooter fled on foot, but they are investigating whether the shooting had any help from accomplices.
Homicide detectives asked anyone with information regarding the incident to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 220-TIPS.