Bystander, 79, shot outside Brooklyn barbershop

September 29, 2011 3:19:50 PM PDT
Police are searching for suspects in a deadly shooting outside a barbershop in Brooklyn that left an innocent bystander dead.

The incident happened on Marcus Garvey Boulevard in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section in broad daylight.

For 79-year-old Andrew Burke, life ended on a surveillance video, caught up in a moment of wild violence outside the barbershop where he spent a lot of his free time. Burke grew up in the neighborhood and the shop owner says he came by regularly to get his hair cut and sit in a chair out front. So when the bullets started flying around 5:30 p.m., authorities say he didn't stand a chance.

"When we heard the first three shots, everybody in the barbershop got on the ground," a witness said. "And the next thing, we seen glass flying all over the place. And we got up, we seen our friend Andy Burke fall into the ground, and the next thing you know, we see blood and everything coming out all over him."

The shooting left bullet holes peppered across the window of Fest's Barbershop, and it all happened in front of dozens of witnesses.

"And I wish I knew some way that I could've helped him," another bystander said. "I couldn't help him. I couldn't help him. He was trying to reach up, and his hands was trembling. And I couldn't help him."

Police say two men had chased a third into the barbershop, firing shot after shot. After killing Burke by accident, they simply got in a car and drove away.

"I seen two guys running down the block, so I turned and looked back as I was walking up the stoop," witness David Hester-Bey said. "I turned and looked back, and they got into a gray [Toyota] Camry and pulled off. At first, I thought they was in trouble, but then I realized those were the shooters. Because the way they came down. They came running down, casual, looking back, looking back. So I figured they were the guys who did whatever happened on the corner."

Police are hoping that more witnesses will come forward and provide useful information. Meanwhile, those who work and hang out at the barbershop are mourning the loss of their friend.

"He don't come over here too often, but he came today, and this is what happened," the barbershop owner said. "It's really a shame. You've got to get the guns off the street, you got to get the young kids together because they are out of control."