5 men wanted for questioning in shooting outside Staten Island school

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Police release video of suspects in shooting outside NYC school
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An investigation is underway after a shooting outside of Tottenville High School on Staten Island. Johny Fernandez has the story.

TOTTENVILLE, Staten Island (WABC) -- Police have released video footage of the five men wanted for questioning in connection to a shooting outside Tottenville High School.

The incident was reported Tuesday at 100 Luten Ave around 2 p.m.

Officials said a 14-year-old boy was shot in the ankle after finishing classes while waiting outside the school for sports practice to begin. An NYPD school safety agent acted quickly and tended to the freshman's wound until an ambulance arrived.

The victim was taken to Staten Island University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover.

Flashing lights and officers greeted Tottenville High School students and parents on Wednesday morning.

"I'm glad they're taking precautions right now. So I definitely feel a lot more safe," student Gianna Badamo said.

Police believe the young athlete who was shot yesterday was not the suspects' intended target. They say the person the suspects tried to shoot may have jumped underneath a car.

"I was walking in the hallway with my friends...we got pulled into a random classroom, student Sophia Debellas said about her scary experience yesterday afternoon.

Terrified students and staff ran for cover when they heard approximately seven rounds fired near the school. "Are we going to be okay? Are they going the enter the school? What's going to happen?" Debella said she had so many questions as the shooting happened right on their school's campus.

"This is indeed every parent's worst nightmare," said Mona Davids of the NYC School Safety Coalition. "Parents send their children to school. We expect our children to return safely from school."

The school initially conducted a shelter-in-place, but then proceeded with a controlled dismissal.

One of the bullets fired by the suspects actually hit an MTA bus, but thankfully, no one inside the bus was hurt.

The Department of Education said the incident did not take place on school property, but they are working closely with the NYPD in their investigation.

"Student safety is our top priority, and our students deserve to feel safe in their communities at all times," the DOE said in a statement. "There is also strong mental-health support at all New York City public schools for students who need it, by way of school-based social workers, guidance counselors, and on site mental health clinics."

Multiple shell casings were recovered on the street, but the circumstances surrounding the shooting are not yet known.

"One thing is for sure: all types of crime have gotten out of control and it's not just 'perception,'" said Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis. "Whether it's people being stabbed, robbed, shoved in front of a train, or shot, our city has turned into the 'Wild Wild West' with one out of every 88 New Yorkers becoming a victim of a major felony crime."

Given the tsunami of shootings, stabbings, and shoves stampeding the headlines, families who thought they were safe on Staten Island, now fear there is no safe harbor in this lawless storm.

"City is getting worse and worse and seems like ... getting into our safe part of the city now," Staten Island resident Andy Cintrone said.

The Staten Island district attorney, Michael McMahon, released the following statement:

"We are aware of the incident that took place outside of Tottenville High School this afternoon. At this time our prayers are with the young victim who was injured and are hoping for their swift and full recovery. We are working closely with the NYPD, Department of Education and Tottenville High School staff as the investigation into this incident continues. It goes without saying that our schools should be a safe haven for everyone in our community and particularly for our students. We share in the outrage of parents and all Staten Islanders who rightly feel as though this basic obligation is not being met. It is long past time for policy and decision makers to remove their rose-colored glasses and confront reality in our schools -- this is a crisis and we must act now."

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