Gunfire erupted around 8:30 p.m. last night outside the Pentecostal Emmanuel Church of God, at 1365 Flatbush Avenue. A wake for a 39-year-old Bloods gang member had just concluded. NBC New York reported that three mourners fired shots into the crowd, with at least one shooter returning fire from the church vestibule. In all, 15 shots were fired, leaving two dead and four others injured.
The funeral was for José “Cheo” Robles, a 38-year-old who reportedly died of a heart attack. According to an obituary flier from the service, he was working toward a degree in neuroscience at Manhattan College, after having overcome “many obstacles” in his life—including a prison stint for murder, according to a close friend who spoke to the New York Times.
Officers responding to the scene initially found five victims. Sharieff Clayton, 40, of the Bronx was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital Center. According to NBC New York, Ronald Murphy, 44, and two women, ages 38 and 29, were also struck, and were listed in stable condition as of this morning. A fifth victim was found a few blocks away, with a gunshot wound to the stomach. He was later pronouned dead at Kings County Hospital Center. Police suspect he may have been one of the gunmen.
The police are currently investigating whether the violence was gang-related. They are looking for multiple shooters, and no arrests have been made. A source close to the investigation told the Daily News, ““This was about something that happened 20 years ago and had nothing to do with Robles. [The shooter] confronts one of the victims and gets punched. That guy’s friend pulls a gun and starts shooting.”