A shooting in a Bed-Stuy salon, a shooting in a Union Square Diner, another shooting at a Queens bodega, and a shooting in a Bronx apartment made for at least four gun-related fatalities this weekend. In Bed-Stuy, a 12-year-old boy is in stable condition after being shot in the shoulder while walking near Tompkins Park, and in Springfield Gardens, Queens, a man opened fire at a house party, wounding four people. And we're also hearing reports this morning of a fatal stabbing near Avenue D.
The Queens bodega murder is perhaps the most heartbreaking; Juan Torres, 54, was shot by a robber who was holding a gun to his brother Felix's head at the cash register. Torres was in the back of the Laurelton store when the robbery started around 11 p.m. Saturday, and police sources say he was shot as he tried to sneak up behind the shooter with a hammer. "The guy came in quick," Felix Torres tells the Daily News. "He said to me, 'Come over here.' He took me to the counter and put the gun to the side of my head with my face on the counter. I said, 'Please don't kill me - I got my family. I'll give you money.'He took money from the register. Then I heard boom, and he left. I never saw his face - or my brother."
Juan Torres followed the fate of his brother Jesus, who was murdered by robbers at the Ridgewood Deli on Ridgewood Avenue in 1999. And another clerk was slain in a 2002 robbery at the same bodega where Juan, a father of three, was killed this weekend. "It's weird. I can't believe this happened again," his sister Carmen Torres, 39, tells the News. "He was a good father, a good brother." His son, Xavier Torres, 21, tells the Times, "I still think this is a nightmare, this is a dream. I still think that I’m going to go to sleep, wake up and see my father there."
Meanwhile, in the Bronx, 25-year-old Michael Brown was found dead in an apartment near Holland Avenue with a gunshot wound to the face at about 8 p.m. Saturday. The Post reports that as of October 17th, there have been 425 homicides—up from 367 at this point last year, making for a 15.8 percent increase.