(NY POST) – Five people were shot — including a 6-year-old boy — in Brooklyn early Monday during an outdoor J’Ouvert celebration, police and witnesses said.
The gunfire rang out just before 3 a.m. at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Crown Street in Crown Heights, where about 300 people had gathered for a pre-dawn West Indian Day celebration.
“It was really crazy — everyone was in shock,” said Joshua Kristal, who was marching with the procession.
Police sources identified the victims as Maxwell Cesc-Vinho, 6, his mother, Patricia Brathwaith, 47, Flavian Yves, 40, Bob Charlotin, 46, and Kelly Barthold, 34.
Brathwaith — who has an address in a Crown Street apartment building right where the shooting occurred — and Yves were each shot in the left foot, while Charlotin and Barthold were both blasted in the right leg.
All five victims were taken to Kings County Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries, according to police.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison said the mother and son were just getting out of a cab when they were shot.
The little boy was in surgery Monday morning, police sources said.
Harrison said the shooting appeared to be gang-related.
“It looks like, it’s unfortunate, a gang-related shooting,” he told reporters at the scene Monday morning. “This is a notorious gang area that, you know, we’ve had problems with in the past.”
It wasn’t immediately clear which of the victims, if any, were intended targets.
The official J’Ouvert and the West Indian Day events have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but revelers decided to gather in the early hours anyway.
Harrison said many residents took to barbecuing and playing music outside instead.
“We actually promote that,” he said. “That doesn’t mean that people should come out and start shooting.”
Graphic video from the scene shows the moment the shots rang out. The young boy is seen lying on the sidewalk in a pool of blood as a crowd of bystanders and police officers surround him. Multiple screams can be heard.
Immediately after he was struck, a woman, who appeared to be the child’s mother, rushed to his aid.
“The boy, his mom was carrying him. You could see there was blood in his pants,” Kristal said of the shooting. “She dropped him, I didn’t know what to do, then I saw tons of blood.”
A man could also be seen in the video lying face-down and motionless on the sidewalk, and a woman fell to the ground as at least three people held her arms.
Kristal said he came to the aid of the woman shot in the foot, applying pressure to her wound before emergency responders arrived.
“A woman was walking around saying, ‘I’m shot in the foot, I’m shot in the foot.’ I was holding her foot. I was wondering where all this blood was coming from. It was really crazy,” he said.
Two people were arrested at the scene, each carrying a gun, police sources said. It was unclear if either was the shooter.
NYPD’s Chief of Department Terence Monahan said the investigation is in its early stages and asked anyone with information to call the NYPD tips line at 1-800-577-TIPS.
“At tonight’s senseless shooting in Brooklyn where five people were shot, officers also arrested two men — and recovered two guns,” he tweeted.
One witness, who didn’t want to be named, said people were enjoying music from a DJ when he saw one of the gunmen, wearing a blue surgical mask.
“People were dancing and hanging out, having a good time and out of nowhere the shooting started,” the man said. “He was on foot. He came from Nostrand Avenue. He let off some shots.”
“The music was playing but I heard pop, pop, pop … He didn’t run. He just walked away,” he added.
The witness said the alleged shooter was short, wearing a white coat, jeans and a red cap.
Later Monday morning, a gray sneaker, a white sneaker, a white NY Yankees cap and what appeared to be a wig remained on the scene.
Eastern Parkway, where the West Indian Day parade has taken place in past years, is about five blocks from the shooting scene. It was empty Monday morning, but was heavily patrolled by cops, including on the side streets — with some officers in parked cars and others driving around with lights flashing.
In the past, J’Ouvert has been marred by shootings, and the NYPD anticipated large crowds would still gather along the parade route this year despite the pandemic.