THROGS NECK, Bronx (WABC) --A 56-year-old man was beat up and shot in the elbow when a possible deal to sell illegal cigarettes went bad Wednesday.
It happened just after 2 p.m. in front of 852 Revere Ave. in the Throgs Neck section.
"I heard what they said was a gunshot, but it just sounded like a normal car backfire, you can usually hear that but it's never a gunshot," a witness said.
The witness, who didn't want to be identified, said he was nearby when it started. "No confrontation between the victim and the suspect, just proceeded as normal, no loud arguments or anything," he said.
The victim, who police said they believe sells untaxed cigarettes illegally, received a message on his phone to go to Revere Avenue by a person claiming to want to buy 300 cartons.
He parked his red Dodge Caravan in a driveway, then was jumped by two men who emerged from a car and beat him up.
Police said one hit him in the head with a handgun, the other put him in a headlock, and the two beat him unconscious.
When he woke up, one of the them hit him in the head with a brick.
The victim said, 'stop kicking me or I will kill you,' prompting one of the suspects to point the gun at his head, police said.
He pushed the gun away and it discharged, striking him in the left elbow, authorities said. He is being treated at a hospital.
The incident in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx, a quiet neighborhood unaccustomed to violence, took the whole neighborhood by surprise. "It was a surreal moment," the witness said.
Two men, possible suspects in the shooting, fled the scene. He described the suspects as male Hispanics, one slim and one heavyset, one wearing a black hoodie. the victim told detectives he didn't recognize either of them.
There have been no arrests.