According to police sources, a kid is recovering after being wounded while attempting to rob a smoking shop on Manhattan’s Upper East Side on Wednesday night.
Around 6 p.m., the NYPD responded to reports of a shooting inside a smoking store near E. 61st Street and Third Avenue.
According to police, a 15-year-old teenager attempted to rob the business when the store clerk pulled out a revolver and shot the adolescent, who received a grazing wound to his leg.
The shopkeeper then shut the door and fled the scene. Because no one was letting them in, NYPD cops had to smash the lock.
There was a shoe and a shell casing on the floor, so they entered in tactical gear, not knowing if someone was still there, hiding.
They checked the store’s surveillance video for hints after searching and finding no one.
All of this happened about a half-hour after a 911 call reported a teenager with a gunshot wound to his leg or foot a block and a half south.
“I saw a group of men in the corner by the movie theater and one of them was on the floor bleeding, and asking for help,” Michael Rizzi, the next-door neighbor, claimed.
The person was transported to New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and is expected to survive.
The neighbor had no idea the youngster had been shot or that it had occurred inside the smoke store in the same building where he lives. He went outside to look at his Christmas tree in the window when he noticed the cops looking over the crime scene in the smoke store.
“I don’t go in there very often.” However, we have had no problems. “I’m not sure if it’s legal or illegal,” Rizzi said.
At least three guys responsible for the store eventually arrived and spoke with the officers on the spot.
Marijuana dispensaries, such as the one involved in Wednesday’s shooting, have been the focus of robberies all around the city, some of which have been violent. Neighbors say it’s disconcerting to see so many popping up in unexpected places, such as a couple blocks from Bloomingdales.
“Smoke shops. That’s what’s making money, that’s who can pay the rent here. Nobody else can pay the rent,” said Edwin Irrizary, who attends a local church.
The shop does not appear to be a legal marijuana dispensary. It does not have a verification tool displayed, and it is not on any legal list.
The investigation is still underway, thus no arrests have been made.
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