On Saturday morning three men were killed with an AK-47 on a residential street next to Springfield Gardens High School at 5 a.m.
The shooting took place in front of 185-10 144 Ave. Resident Maria Montalvo, who lives in the house next door, said one of the men was found bloodied and lying on the ground in front of her home.
Montalvo said as soon as she heard the shots she gathered all of her children and called the police.
The three men reportedly left Albany Manor Night Club in Brooklyn in a gray Jeep Grand Cherokee. They were reportedly followed by men they had gotten into an argument with over a woman at the club. The three men were shot with an AK-47 submachine gun, which reportedly fired at least 63 rounds. The number of shooters is still unknown.
Two men were found in the Jeep and the other in the street — all with multiple bullet wounds. Emergency Medical Services pronounced the three men dead on arrival at the scene. Police have not yet publicly identified the victims or suspects.
“It sounded like they were hitting on metal,” Montalvo said. “I’ve been here three years and I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.”
Another resident of the block, who wanted to remain anonymous, said “At 5 in the morning we hear something like a firecracker — repetitive,” he said. “We saw the police and the ambulance and a young man on the ground.”
He said he has been a resident of the area for more than 30 years, but this is the first time something like this has happened. “This is a pretty quiet neighborhood,” he added.
Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) and his chief of staff, Donovan Richards, held a press conference addressing the issue of guns at the crime scene on Tuesday.
“Just because these assailants are not from this neighborhood doesn’t mean we’re safe,” Sanders said. He believes that this incident could not have stemmed from an argument about a girl alone.
“The police would be idiots not to look for other possibilities in a case like this — and they are not idiots,” Sanders said. “It has all the hallmarks of a drug hit.”
A gun buyback program would cost about $85,000, Sanders said. The councilman also supports stricter gun laws.
Although he said, “Anybody who is going to the extent to get an AK-7 is unlikely to have a change of heart and bring it in,” he added that the gun buyback should only be part of the response to the incident. A recent buyback in Jamaica took 55 weapons off the streets — a low number compared to the buyback several years ago that collected 922 weapons.
“It’s not enough to just do it here — we will take this to every corner of our community, including the Rockaways,” Sanders said.
He commended District Attorney Richard Brown’s work, but said he is blind to the benefits of a gun buyback program. Brown will say there is no room in the budget to fund another one, he said.
“What will it take, sir?” Sanders said, addressing Brown. “What body count will be enough?”