Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bullets fly at Brooklyn barbeque, leaving two men dead and two injured

From the Daily News by Barry Paddock, Henrick Karoliszyn AND Jonathan Lemire:

An all-night barbecue celebrating the West Indian Day Parade ended in bloodshed early this morning, leaving two men dead and two others injured, police and witnesses said.

Partygoers ran in panic when the gunshots rang out at 5:45 a.m. at the seemingly peaceful gathering held in an alley on Chester St. in Brownsville.

Three men were shot, two fatally, according to police. Friends identified one of the victims as Marvin Brown, a construction worker who just finished taking classes to become an ambulance driver.

"He was a great guy," said his friend Patrick Hinds, 25. "There's nothing you couldn't not like about him - a great person."

Brown, 25, was shot in the head and died almost instantly, his body toppling to the concrete littered with beer cans and paper plates left behind by revelers.

"I heard the shots [and] I came out," said neighbor Paula Brown, who is not related to the dead man. "I just seen people running."

A second man, whose name was not immediately released, was shot in the chest and died a short time later at Brookdale Hospital, police said.

A third man was shot in the leg and listed in stable condition at Brookdale Hospital. Police said the fourth man injured was punched in the face but not shot.

Investigators were not certain what triggered the gunfire, but Brown's loved ones were convinced that the South Shore High School graduate was not the intended target.

"There had to be a mistake," said his girlfriend Renee Brady, 21, of Brownsville.

"He was good," said Brady, weeping. "He was the one telling people not to be violent. They killed him."

Born in Jamaica, Brown split his time between New York and London, where his mother lives, his friends said. He had worked several jobs to put himself through the classes needed to fulfill his goal of driving an ambulance for an area hospital, they said.

"He was friendly, quiet," said Sasha Clarke, a former high school classmate. "He doesn't give no trouble. He liked to play ball [and] liked going to a party with his friends."

Party-goers were stunned that the barbecue, a annual precursor to the parade, ended in violence.

"The vibe was cool - everybody knows everybody," said Stacey Smith, 23. "Everybody's talking and laughing. It was family and friends, and I guess it just got a little out of hand."

The West Indian Day parade, held Monday along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, has been marred by violence several times in recent years, including non-fatal shootings in 2007 and 2006, and a homicide in 2005.

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