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Wednesday, 03 September 2014 07:00

West Indian pre-dawn Parade marred by shooting death Featured

Police at the scene of the shooting Monday morning as people preparing for the West Indian Day Parade pass behind them. Photo: G.N. Miller

The 47th annual West Indian Day Parade in Crown Heights and Prospect Heights served as a celebration of Caribbean cultures in New York City, with reggae music booming and the flags of several nations -- including Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago -- fluttering.

The festivities, however, were marred by violence. One man was shot dead, and at least five others — including a cop — were injured as gunfire erupted during Monday’s pre-dawn festivities leading up to the West Indian Day Parade in Brooklyn, cops said.

During the fatal shooting, the NYPD detective was hurt when one of the bullets struck the rear window of his nearby unmarked tan Dodge Caravan mini-van and he was hit by flying glass, cops said. He was treated for cuts at a hospital and released.

The wild shooting occurred at 3:30 a.m. on Empire Boulevard near Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights, police said. The suspect, believed to be a 26-year-old man, squeezed off as many as 45 shots into a crowd during an argument and killed a 55-year-old man, cops said. It’s unclear if the victim was the intended target.

A 22-year-old man and 20-year-old woman were also struck by bullets but are in stable condition at Kings County Hospital. The alleged shooter, who has 26 priors, was arrested after dropping the .45 semi-automatic gun, sources said.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who later walked the parade route with Mayor de Blasio, called the parade a “well-structured event” and noted that thousands of cops were assigned to the area as well as to other city events Monday. He said helicopters had been brought in, too, to assist in crowd control and traffic.

De Blasio, who also was with his family, said, “There’s always a few individuals that get out of line. But the NYPD handles that very well.” Other pre-parade shootings in the area included a 28-year-old woman who was shot in the buttocks at 226 Utica Ave. at 3:35 a.m. and a man, 22, shot in the foot on Sullivan Place an hour later, cops said.

No arrests have been made in any of those incidents. Last year, two people were fatally stabbed. And in 2012, two men, ages 26 and 27, died after being stabbed in the neck in separate incidents in areas just off the parade route.

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