Two people were shot before dawn Tuesday morning in two different home invasions — one in South Richmond Hill, the other in Ozone Park — and in one of the cases, the shooting victim was the alleged robber himself.
The first incident occurred around 3 a.m. in a home near 101-11 109 St. in South Richmond Hill. According to police, a couple woke up to find two men in their bedroom, one of whom was allegedly holding a gun.
Police say the suspect and the homeowner struggled and the gun went off, striking one of the suspects in the leg.The other alleged robber escaped out the window while the injured suspect, a 21-year-old who police say has more than a dozen arrests on his record, was taken to the Jamaica Hospital Medical Center and was put under arrest. He is expected to recover. The second suspect is still at large.
Another home invasion occurred at 86th Street and Sutter Avenue in Ozone Park around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. A person in the home was shot during that incident. Police are continuing to investigate that home invasion.
The victim in that shooting, who police say is a resident of the home, is expected to recover. The two home invasions are not believed to be related and police are investigating both.
Home invasions have become a big problem in southern Queens, especially in the 102th and 106th precincts. Over the summer, Deputy Inspector Thomas Pascale, the commanding officer of the 106 Precinct, said robbers are especially targeting homes of Hindus, often marked by flags in front, because potential thieves believe there is gold inside in religious statues or jewelry.
Law enforcement is asking residents to be careful when entering homes, especially at night, and to keep doors and first-floor windows locked.
Stephen Geffon contributed to this story.