Wounded bystander speaks out after gang-related mass shooting in Queens

CORONA, Queens (WABC) -- The NYPD is hoping surveillance video and help from the community will help them track down the group they say is responsible for a mass shooting in Queens over the weekend.

Officers in the area continue to patrol, as retaliation is feared in this incident of gang violence.

It happened around 10:40 p.m. Saturday, when two men opened fire near the corner of 98th Street and 37th Avenue. After the shooting, they jumped aboard two waiting mopeds driven by two other men and took off.

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Ten people were hurt, and most were innocent bystanders.

One of them said he's heard about shootings in the neighborhood but never imagined he'd be caught in the middle, and needless to say, he's just glad to have survived.

"The right side of my ear, there was this loud ringing," said the 19-year-old college student, who didn't want his name used. "It's still going on, to be honest. Yeah, this whole part was just vibrating and shaking."

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He said he didn't know what that vibrating sensation was until he touched his ear and saw blood. He was in the driver's seat of his car with his girlfriend about a half a block from the shooting Saturday night.

The bullet pierced the rear windshield and hit the head rest before it struck him behind his ear. When he realized he'd been hit, he says he calmly pulled out of the parking spot and drove.

"I drove to the precinct with one hand holding my ear and the other one on the steering wheel," he said.

An ambulance took him to the hospital where a bullet fragment was removed.

"It was like half a bullet, I guess," he said. "It looked pretty big, and it scared me a lot."

Detectives were still gathering evidence at the scene Monday, looking through another car that was struck on 37th Avenue that belongs to another man who was shot while standing nearby. His cousin says the violence is out of control.

"It's getting crazier every time," Alberto Castillo said. "Crazier and crazier. Dangerous, at nighttime especially."

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Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa was also at the scene Monday, predicting that those struck who were gang members will only add to that danger.

"They are plotting revenge," he said. "There's going to be a series of vengeance shootings, and the cycle is going to continue, and the cops need to be ahead of the curve. They know how to do it. We have to let them do it. We have to take the handcuffs off our cops and let them go out and battle the gang bangers."

Sliwa also suggesting that the city work with ICE to find gang members and witnesses who may flee to other countries. This particular incident is blamed on suspected Trinitarios members who may have ties to the Dominican Republic.

Anyone with information in regard to this incident is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).

There were 19 shooting incidents with 33 victims between Friday and Sunday in New York City.

There have been 1,057 shooting victims in the city so far this year. That's a 15.83% increase in shootings.

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