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Three suspected MS 13 members were shot by alleged members of the Latin Kings during a drive-by shooting in the parking lot of a Wendy’s in Jamaica Thursday afternoon, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
“It turns out that apparently it is a dispute between the MS 13 gang and the Latin Kings,” Brown told reporters outside the Wendy’s on Jamaica Avenue near the intersection of Queens Boulevard.
After the shooting, which took place at about 3 p.m., the suspects - who are believed to be members of the Latin Kings - fled in a tan Toyota Corolla with tinted windows northbound on Queens Boulevard, the DA said. Investigators at the scene said there had not yet been any arrests.
“Like in so many different boroughs, we do have a gang problem here,” Brown said. “It’s something that the police are very much on top of.”
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 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 for 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 Newspaper Group
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