Today’s news:

Police suspect gang activity in daytime shooting spree

Five people were shot in broad daylight on Roosevelt Avenue in Elmhurst Saturday in what was probably a gang-related attack, police said, leading to calls from the community for an increased police presence.

An emergency public safety town hall meeting was scheduled for this Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights, 37-06 77th St., City Councilman Hiram Monserrate's (D-East Elmhurst) office said. NYPD officials and elected representatives were expected to attend.

Police in the 110th Precinct responded to the corner of 80th Street and Roosevelt Avenue at 11:40 a.m. Saturday on reports of a female shooting victim. There they found three people with gunshot wounds and two more who were grazed, police said.

A 21-year-old man shot in the side was believed to be the intended victim, police said. A 45-year-old man was shot in the back and a 21-year-old woman was shot in the torso.

All the victims were shot outside and police do not believe they knew one another.

The victims were taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, police said. No arrests had been made by press time Tuesday.

Elected officials and community leaders held a news conference Sunday to decry the incident. Monserrate, state Assemblyman Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) and representatives from the Western Jackson Heights Alliance and National Latino Officers Association called on the NYPD to allocate more police resources to combat what Monserrate called "a crime epidemic and gang activity" in the area.

"Our area has experienced a large increase in population and activity, but we have not received the requisite increase in police resources," said Will Sweeney, co-founder of the Western Jackson Heights Alliance.

Monserrate called on the NYPD to install cameras along Roosevelt Avenue and increase manpower levels at both the 110th and 115th precincts, which cover Corona, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst and Jackson Heights.

The corridor is already part of the city's Operation Impact program, which floods high-crime areas with officers on foot.

The number of major index crimes in the 110th Precinct was down 9.9 percent for the year compared to the same stretch of 2007, according to NYPD statistics through May 18. The precinct had one murder this year compared with two murders for the same period last year. Felony assaults were also down slightly, at 81 compared with 89 for the same stretch of 2007.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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