Police are searching for a young man and three accomplices suspected of assaulting two Harlem deli workers and shooting them with a BB gun last weekend. The assault, which was caught on an in-store security camera, was reportedly sparked by an incident two days earlier, in which the main suspect was denied the purchase of a cigar, just days after the smoking age in NYC was raised to 21.

Zayed Jaren, the owner of Z and S Candy and Tobacco Store on Lenox Avenue, tells NBC New York that the suspect tried to buy a $5 cigar last Friday night but became enraged when Jaren asked for ID to check his age. "Are you sure you want to do that? I'm a really violent person. I'm going to ask you one more time," the cigar aficionado told Jaran, according to security camera footage.

Before storming out, the suspect ominously added, "Call the police. The next time you see me... [you're] going to die... I'm coming back for you."

The NYPD says the man, described as "Male, Hispanic or Black, approximately 20 years old" and 6 feet tall, made good on his threat Sunday night and was joined by a young woman, 18-21 years old and "possibly named Crystal." Shortly before 9 p.m., the suspect and "Crystal" tried to punch Jaren, who was behind the counter. When that didn't work, police sources tell DNAinfo they threw some magazines, punched Jaren's cousin, who was standing by the door, and then ran from the premises after Jaren came at them with a baseball bat.

They returned at approximately 9:15 with two other young men, both wearing hooded sweatshirts. Suspect #1, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a mask, opened fire with a BB gun.


Jaren, who was shot twice in the chest, says, "He started shooting in the store all over like crazy." His cousin was shot in the leg. "We didn't know it was a BB gun. We thought we were going to die," he tells DNAinfo. Both men were treated at a nearby hospital after having the BB's removed.

Anyone with information in regards to this shooting is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.