How many deaths must be mourned and how many people must be injured before federal gun laws are strengthened to get illegal guns off the streets? This is an issue in New York City and on Long Island. A NYPD police officer was shot and killed in Brooklyn, three adult males were shot and wounded in Huntington Station, and three men were shot in Central Islip. This has all occurred within a two week span; and what is the common thread that ties these stories together? Use of an illegally obtained gun.
Four sisters mourned the loss of their father who was killed in the line of duty in Brooklyn on December 12, 2011. Peter Figoski was a veteran NYPD officer from West Babylon; he was honored at the 75th precinct. The suspect has a lengthy criminal record dating back years – meaning he could not have possibly passed a background check to legally obtain a weapon. The suspect is wanted in North Carolina on charges of shooting and wounding a man. He used a semiautomatic pistol, which is believed to have been sold to the original owner in Virginia and who somehow “lost it” and a third party was able to get their hands on it, and sell it to the assailant. How can someone lose a gun which is supposed to be held in safe keeping? After just one shot the gun was jammed by a shell casing, but it still held an unused ten rounds. Other states should have a stricter gun control system; these guns were purchased with the intent of use during a crime.
A triple shooting occurred on November 27, 2011 in Huntington Station. At approximately 3:15 PM, Darius Howard, 16, Devon White, 18, and Philip Perez, 22, were sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot of 123 First Avenue when they were approached. A large group of males surrounded the vehicle, and at least two members of the group shot into the vehicle, injuring the three occupants. They were all transported to Huntington Hospital by the Community Rescue Ambulance. Howard sustained a gunshot wound to the left arm and a grazing wound to his head. Devon sustained a gunshot wound to his groin. Philip sustained gunshot wounds to his right arm, right armpit and right hand. “A Suffolk County Police Officer was slightly injured responding to the shooting when his patrol car was in a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of First Avenue and Pulaski Road.” The investigation continues and police suspect this is related to gang activity.
Three men were wounded and shot early Sunday December 11, 2011 in Central Islip. Their sport utility vehicle was fired on by assailants in another SUV at about 3:35 AM at the intersection of Suffolk and Hawthorne Avenues, near the Central Islip train station. Three out of the five men were wounded; they were all in a 1998 Jeep Cherokee heading west on Suffolk Avenue when a Honda Pilot pulled alongside and someone inside began firing shots. Two are from Amityville: Omar Canales, 26, was struck in the right arm, and Enrique Mendez, 21, was hit in the chest. The third man, Jairo Rodriguez, 26, of Brentwood, was hit in the neck. All were taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore for treatment. The others in the car, Mario Canales, 21, and Nelson Canales, 22, remained untouched.
On Sunday December 18, 2011 two brothers were found dead inside of a car in Brentwood. Erston Ceron Jr., 21, and Ricardo Ceron, 19 were both pronounced dead at the scene upon police arrival. Police responded to reports of shots fired neared Stockton Street and Lincoln Avenue in Brentwood. This occurred at about 2:50am, and Suffolk County Police are still investigating. A third victim was also found in the area, and was transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The third victim however, may not be related to this crime.
Guns can be safe when used and stored properly, and should be legal in the hands of owners who know how to appropriately operate and store them, and understand safety protocols. What gives the right to these assailants to pick up a gun and open fire? How is it that they can just attempt to take the lives of others - there is no right. Who are they to take someone’s breath away? These acts leave me quite speechless, how dare they? It is quite mind boggling to me that these aggressors believe that is okay to disrupt the lives of these victims, and their families. These victims can be a father, a brother, a son, veteran and victims abroad can be a mother, daughter, sister, veteran, as well – anyone can be a victim to a merciless crime if they are in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Gun laws should be strengthened, more strictly enforced, and regulated in all states to prevent these criminals from obtaining a hand gun.
Police are asking for any tips for the following crimes.
- For the triple shooting which occurred November 27,2011 in Huntington. “Contact the Second Squad at 631-854-8252 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.”
- For the three men shot & wounded which occurred December 11, 2011 in Central Islip. “Police asked for help at 631-854-8452 (Fourth Squad) or at Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.”
- For the two brothers found dead which occurred on December 18,2011 in Brentwood. “The police investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392.”
This Article was Written by Evelyn Ortiz.
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