Brooklyn Shooting: 4 Killed at Crown Heights Social Club
The motive was not clear, but illegal dice and card games were occurring at the club when the shooting started, the police said.
Neighbors had often complained about an unlicensed social club that operated on the first floor of a battered frame townhouse in Brooklyn. The space had a purple sign — “Triple A Aces Private & Social Event Space” — but it was being used as an illegal gambling den that attracted patrons in expensive cars, investigators and residents said.
Then, early on Saturday morning, gunfire erupted inside the sparsely furnished club in the Crown Heights neighborhood, where at least 15 people were playing card and dice games, the police said.
When the shooting stopped, four people were dead and three were wounded, the police said. It was the second mass shooting in Brooklyn in the last three months and the second quadruple homicide in New York City in a week.
The police said the motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, though investigators ruled out gang activity. Dermot F. Shea, the chief of detectives, said investigators were trying to determine if a “gambling dispute or a robbery” was behind the shooting. No suspects had been identified, he said.
The victims ranged in age from 32 to 49 and were struck by more than 15 bullets fired inside the club just before 7 a.m., the police said.
Late Saturday night, the police identified the four men killed as Terence Bishop, 36; Dominick Wimbush, 47; Chester Goode, 37; and John Thomas, 32. All of the men lived in Brooklyn. Two men and a woman suffered gunshot wounds but were expected to survive. An eighth person was hospitalized with a leg injury incurred while trying to escape, the police said.
On Saturday morning, police officials milled around the front of the social club, which is on the first floor of a low-rise townhouse. Crowds of onlookers pressed against the yellow police tape at the periphery of the scene, around Pacific Street and Utica Avenue.
A police crime scene van was parked out front, and forensic investigators in all-white body suits walked in and out. Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene.
Neighbors said that the event space often attracted crowds of people on motorcycles and scooters. “It’s a biker hangout,” said Greg Todd, a member of Community Board 8. “There would be 20 bikes out front on some occasions, a big crew.”