Man Killed By Police On Wedding Day, Two Others Injured In Shootout
By: NY1 News
NY1: Man Killed By Police On Wedding Day, Two Others Injured In Shootout
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A groom is dead and two of his friends are hospitalized after police shot them outside a strip club in Queens early Saturday morning.
Witnesses say 23-year-old Sean Bell, who was to be married tonight at Bella Vita catering hall, died at Jamaica Hospital from gunshot wounds to the neck and arm.
According to witnesses a group of men was celebrating a bachelor party at the strip club Club Kalua on 95th Avenue in Jamaica. They say police shot the men in their car as they were preparing to leaving the club just after 4 a.m.
"They were on their way to the diner to get something to eat,” said a witness. “And what happened is what you see now, you know. Two officers got out of that van they fired into the car."
The two other men are in critical and stable condition at Mary Immaculate Hospital.
Family members tell NY1 that officers shot one of the men 17 times.
Police say officers at the scene suffered minor injuries and the shooting is still under investigation.
"We don't have enough information," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "Anytime anyone is killed in such a violent way, it's a terrible tragedy and certainly a tragedy for any parent. Our hearts go out to them."
Reverend Al Sharpton spoke outside the hospital, calling for "real answers" about the shooting and justice for the victim's family.
"We need some real answers, and we don't need fabrication," said Sharpton. "If in fact there were no life extenuating circumstances, then what was the cause of these multiple shots that have already resulted in one death? This family deserves answers and it deserves justice."
"This is a disgrace," added a friend of the victim. "They killed him and they shot him in cold blood; they killed my son's best friend and he is getting married today. Now how do you think the family feels?"
According to Sharpton, one of the injured men was handcuffed to his hospital bed for a period of time.