A 21-year-old alleged gang member has been arrested and charged in connection with the shooting of three suspected MS-13 members in the parking lot of a Wendy’s in Jamaica last Thursday afternoon, police said.
Damian Rampersad, of 90-10 149th St. in Jamaica, is believed to belong to the Latin Kings, according to a police source.
Rampersad has been charged with attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon in the midday drive-by shooting, according to the NYPD.
“Like in so many different boroughs, we do have a gang problem here,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown told reporters outside the Wendy’s on Jamaica Avenue near the intersection of Queens Boulevard. “It’s something that the police are very much on top of.”
Rampersad allegedly fired five to seven rounds using a semi-automatic pistol, according to the criminal complaint provided by the DA.
After the shooting, which took place at about 3 p.m., the suspect fled in a tan Toyota Corolla with tinted windows northbound on Queens Boulevard, the DA said.
Two of the people shot were 20 years old and one was 17, and all three are suspected MS-13 members, the DA said. One person was shot in the buttocks, another in the right calf and the third in the right arm, according to court documents.
“It turns out that apparently it is a dispute between the MS-13 gang and the Latin Kings,” Brown said at the scene.
One person was taken to Jamaica Hospital, while the two others were transported to New York Hospital Queens in Flushing.
“Crime scene detectives are here on the scene following up on any leads,” Brown said.
Immediately after the shooting, several dozen officers converged on the fast-food restaurant, said Dennis Michael Cook, 45, who lives a block away.
“The cops had everything cordoned off,” Cook said. “It was organized, no frenzy.”
Normally, youngsters gather in the parking lot after school, several residents said.
“It’s always crowded here with kids — not even kids, regular people,” said Edward Sanchez, 28, who lives several blocks away.
The school day at PS 82, which is two blocks away, usually ends about the same time that the shooting occurred, and both Sanchez and Cook said they worried about the safety of their children.
“It’s a crowded area. Kids are out of school, coming home.” Brown said. “Fortunately, the three people that were struck, none of them are likely to die.”
The DA said illegal weapons were involved in the shooting.
“Once again we are dealing with illegal guns, and somehow or another we have to get them off the street,” he said.
©2012 Community News Group
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