Suspect identified after woman shot while intervening in neighbor's dispute in East Harlem

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Police identify suspect in shooting of good Samaritan in Harlem
Police have identified the man wanted in connection to a shooting in Harlem that left a 41-year-old good Samaritan critically injured on Wednesday.

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- Police have identified the man wanted in connection to a shooting in Harlem that left a 41-year-old good Samaritan critically injured on Wednesday.

Authorities say they are looking for 35-year-old Avery Dunning in connection to the shooting that happened on East 135th Street at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The alleged gunman was in an apparent domestic dispute with his girlfriend when her neighbor, identified as 41-year-old Jemina Garay, intervened.

The suspect then pulled a gun and opened fire, hitting Garay four times, in her left eye, back, abdomen, and buttocks.

She was rushed to Harlem Hospital in critical condition.

A 9mm shell casing was recovered in the hallway of the apartment building.

"They had told me that someone had just gotten shot in the head, a woman," said Marisol Otero, a resident. "I got scared, I got paranoid. I'm like, oh my God, right here in the building. I was scared to come out but I have an appointment so I got to go. I heard gunshots, I heard something. I'm still scared. I'm like, how am I going to go outside?"

Neighbors told Eyewitness News reporter Sonia Rincón that Garay and her husband have three daughters and that Garay works for a local veterinarian and loves animals.

"She's a great mother, she's a great wife. And I feel like this is a senseless crime that happened. Like, she didn't deserve that. She came out to help someone that was in need and then this happened to her, and it's not right. It's not fair," a friend said.

The gunman, who has a criminal history, ran from the scene. Police believe he is still armed and he remains on the run Thursday.

The suspect's girlfriend was not injured. There were also children in both apartments at the time of the shooting. They were not hurt.

"I've known her for years. She mind her business. Whoever did that has malice," said Nicole Williams, the victim's friend.

Neighbors say the suspect doesn't actually live with the girlfriend, who they say lives alone with a toddler.

They said that they thought the suspect's girlfriend should have dumped him a long time ago and that he didn't treat her well.

The girlfriend was seen being escorted away by police with a young child.

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