A shooting has left four men dead and several others injured at a social club in Brooklyn, New York.
Around 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, police responded to a shootout at the Triple A Aces Private & Social Rental Space on Utica Avenue in Crown Heights.
They arrived to find that seven individuals had been shot, including one woman, and that two others sustained non-shooting injuries. Four men were pronounced dead at the scene, while emergency personnel rushed the others to nearby hospitals.
The injured ranged in age from 32 to 49-years-old.
Two guns were recovered from the scene, a 9mm and a revolver. At least 15 rounds are said to have been fired.
Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said, “At this point, what it appears to be is an illegal gambling location set up inside that first-floor location.”
Shea told reporters that there was evidence of people gambling before the shooting took place. There wasn’t, however, any sign of alcohol use.
The New York Post reported that the violence started when one of the gamblers pulled a gun and tried to rob the other players. He, along with two of his associates, were among the dead, along with a security guard.
“The three guys had been playing for an hour, and they were losing money. There was some big money there, even though it was a crime scene, there were some hundred-dollar bills still lying on the floor,” a law enforcement source told the Post.
According to online records, the gambling club, or the “men’s club” as some have referred to it, holds neither a liquor license nor a business license. Nonetheless, it has been around for a decade, and other than two complaints in 2008, avoided showing up on police radar until Saturday morning.
“There are a host of these kinds of venues that are operating in NYC,” said Tony Herbert, a member of the New York Multi-Cultural Restaurant & Nightlife Chamber of Commerce. “Some are law-abiding, others don’t have the proper permits and operate under the radar praying that incidents like this [don’t] happen.”
Shea said, “We’re trying to piece together exactly what transpired inside that location,” Video footage from inside the club and the surrounding neighborhood has been recovered. Police have also interviewed several suspects.