5 suspects charged, others being pursued after deadly shootout at Mount Vernon warehouse

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Sunday, March 24, 2024
New details uncovered in wild, deadly shootout in Westchester Coutny
Jim Dolan has the latest details as FBI and NYPD continue their search in Tuesday's shootout.

BELMONT, The Bronx (WABC) -- Five suspects were charged in federal court on Wednesday in connection to a wild shootout that left two people dead at a warehouse in Mount Vernon on Tuesday, but police are still searching for several others.

Authorities say warehouse workers at 137 South Fifth Ave. were illegally selling a large amount of marijuana and nicotine products to two people around 10 p.m. on Monday, which took employees about two hours to prepare.

Around midnight, two employees from the warehouse helped the customers carry the boxes of merchandise to their vehicle, and that's when 10 to 15 people jumped out of a van and attempted to steal the merchandise at gunpoint.

A gun battle ensued between the workers and the robbers, leaving two people dead.

Mount Vernon Police arrived on the scene around 12:15 a.m. and found the two victims.

Officials say one of the victims, identified as Victor Jiminez, was among the armed robbers. He was shot in the head and died at the scene. Meanwhile, the second victim, a employee at the warehouse, was found under a shelving unit with gunshot wounds to his torso and chest. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Mount Vernon police recovered an AR-15 firearm, four AR spent shell casings and three spent 9mm shell casings.

According to a warehouse employee, the AR-15 was owned by the warehouse and stored behind the register for protection purposes.

Police managed to arrest five people, identified as Ilario Contreras, Jerpi Diaz-Feliz, Jhoan Diaz-Feliz, Victor Jimenez and Joseph Perez. They appeared in federal court in White Plains and were charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy to distribute narcotics and firearm possession.

"These five subjects allegedly orchestrated an attempted armed robbery of a warehouse that sells to smoke shops, which quickly turned deadly as a shootout ensued, culminating in the death of both an employee and one robbery crew affiliate," said FBI New York Assistant Director in Charge James Smith in a statement.

Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard said her city requested assistance from the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force.

An informant told the FBI that the suspects expected to rob the warehouse of "8 million dollars and 6 kilograms of cocaine."

"People who perpetrate these types of crimes, when the FBI, the ATF, the DEA are involved, then they are also looking at federal charges," Patterson-Howard said. "There are more resources available and so that is why it is really important to make that when police departments are under-resourced, that you are using partnerships."

The NYPD and FBI are still working together to find the remaining suspects, at least five of which are still on the loose.

"This is an ongoing investigation, we're still pursuing other suspects, but in less than 24 hours - and working with our law enforcement partners we've been able to start to bring some more light to this situation," Patterson-Howard said.

Police have released this photo of a suspected gunman, who may be known as "Marcos."

Police have released a photo of the suspected gunman, who may be known as "Marcos."

Surveillance video obtained during the FBI investigation revealed that a day before the robbery, around 12:30 p.m. on Monday, seven men left a Bronx apartment complex near Clinton Avenue, and entered the van involved in the shootout.

Following the armed robbery, at around 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the van pulled up in front of the Bronx apartment complex. Six men then got out of the van -- with three of the men walking north on Clinton Avenue, and the other three walking into the complex.

Around 7 p.m., FBI and Mount Vernon police conducted surveillance of the van, still parked outside the apartment complex.

They saw seven men and two females leave the complex with a large bag and grocery tote bag, and placed them in the truck of the van.

A short time later, a Honda Civic arrived in front of the complex. Authorities say two men got out of the van, grabbed the two bags out of the trunk, placed them in the back of the Civic and then got in the car.

About five men then got out of the van and split into two groups, one which entered a white Jeep, while another group entered a white Audi.

All three vehicles, including the Jeep, Audi and Civic left the complex, were stopped by FBI agents and police officers.

The five suspects charged were among the individuals that were stopped by authorities.

FBI New York is offering a reward for information leading to the whereabouts of this individual, possibly known as Marcos, for questioning in connection with a robbery and homicide in Mount Vernon. Anyone with information can contact us at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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