Today’s news:

Jury convicts shooter in Club Phenomenon slay

A Ridgewood man was convicted Friday of murder and attempted murder in the shooting of two men outside a notorious Woodside nightclub in 2006, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Victor Gavalo, 26, faces 50 years to life in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 6, Brown said.

“I hope that the victims’ families find some closure in knowing that the person responsible for shooting their loved ones has now been held accountable for his actions and will probably spend the rest of his natural life in prison,” the DA said in a statement.

The jury deliberated for less than five hours over two days before finding Gavalo guilty of second−degree murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, the DA said.

The shooting occurred around 4 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2006. Gavalo got out of a minivan and walked in front of a Honda parked outside of Club Phenomenon at 62−43 30th Ave. and began shooing into the front windshield and passenger−side window.

He hit the passenger, 22−year−old Sunnyside resident Ernesto Salgado, 22, at least once in the chest, killing him, and critically wounded the driver, 24−year−old Tony Morales, before fleeing in the minivan.

The incident occurred after the victims had left the Fantasia nightclub, which was in the same building as Club Phenomenon.

Salgado was the third man killed outside the club in three years. On May 23, 2004, off−duty state court officer Francisco Rosa, 32, was fatally shot while moonlighting as a security guard and on Nov. 22, 2003, David Garcia, 23, was gunned down.

The club was shuttered in December 2006 after a five−month undercover police operation revealed extensive prostitution and illegal drug sales at the establishment, police said.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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