NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – Authorities have identified the four men killed in Saturday morning’s shooting at an illegal gambling hall in Brooklyn as new details emerge about the possible cause of the shooting.
At least two guns were recovered after 15 shots were fired in a “chaotic scene” that sent dozens of people fleeing from a first-floor gambling den on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights. Detectives continued to investigate at the scene Sunday but no arrests have been made.
Police said Sunday that the victims were 36-year-old Terence Bishop, 47-year-old Dominick Wimbush, 37-year-old Chester Goode and 32-year-old John Thomas. All of the men were from Brooklyn.
Eddie Baldwin, the brother of Terence Bishop, said he’s remembering his brother’s “smile, his presence, his hugs.”
“They need to put the guns down,” Baldwin told CBS2. “That’s the main thing. What was the reason? The man was innocent.”
Baldwin told the New York Post that the shooting started after "someone thought they were cheated and wanted their money back, plus other people’s money."
Police sources confirmed to the Post that the shooting appeared to have started after one of the gamblers claimed he was cheated.
Two men and a woman were also shot but are expected to survive.
One of them was Deshawn Kearse, a 38-year-old who was shot in his hand. His aunt told the Daily News that it’s his second brush with death in a gambling-related attack. Sharon Cook, 63, said Kearse was nearly killed when someone slammed him over the head with a baseball bat during an argument over betting 25 years ago.
“He was gambling, playing these games,” she said. “A guy took a bat and busted his head. Cracked his skull. Broke his arm.”
Cook said her brother has told Kearse “not to even go to those gambling spots,” but “he just won’t listen.”
Pastor Gilford Monrose told CBS2 the community is in mourning after the shocking mass shooting.
“We are saddened just to see the amount of people that was killed at one time,” he said. “That is unprecedented in an area like this.”
No one has been charged in the shooting, but police were questioning survivors and reviewing security camera footage.
"We have some individuals back at the 77th Precinct and we're trying to piece together exactly what transpired in that location," Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.
The unlicensed club, adorned with a sign identifying it as the "Triple A Aces Private & Social Event Space," was operating on the first floor of an older wood-frame townhouse on a block with some empty storefronts and boarded-up buildings.
Shea said there was no immediate sign that the shootings had any connection to gangs, which have been a problem in Crown Heights.
The shooting was the second mass killing in New York in a week. Four homeless men were beaten to death, allegedly by another homeless man, on Oct. 5 in Manhattan's Chinatown.
Until those killings, the city had been on pace to challenge its post-World War II record for the fewest homicides. Last year it had fewer than 300 in a city of more than 8.5 million people.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said on Twitter that the city "awoke to senseless gun violence."
"I've said it before and I'll say it until I can't anymore: we have an epidemic of gun violence that spares no community — and it won't stop until we get guns off our streets once and for all," he said.