11/25/2006

Police shoot 3 people near strip club in NYC; 1 killed

By JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK- Police shot three young men who had just left a bachelor party at a strip club early Saturday, killing one man on the day of his wedding, according to police and witnesses. One of the survivors was in critical condition.

The shooting happened just after 4 a.m. (0900 GMT) near Club Kalua in the Queens borough, said Officer Kathleen Price. She said there were no reports that any officers were wounded.

It was not immediately clear what sparked the shooting. As many as eight officers may have been involved, said Sgt. Mike Wysokowski, another department spokesman.

"All I know, they was celebrating," said Denise Ford, who said her son was one of the survivors. She said the man who died was the groom. "The guy was getting married today."

Relatives said the dead man was Sean Bell, 23.

Robert Porter, who identified himself as Bell's first cousin, said he was supposed to be a DJ at the wedding.

"I still don't want to believe it, a beautiful day like this, and he was going to have a beautiful wedding, he was going to live forever with his wife and children. And this happened," Porter said.

The Rev. Al Sharpton said family members told him that there were no guns in the young mens' car and "there was no reason for the police to shoot."

"On the face of it, it seems to me to be certainly something that causes extreme alarm and must be thoroughly investigated," said Sharpton, who said he was called by a relative of the man who died.

Abraham Kamara, 38, who lives a few blocks from the scene of the shooting, said he was getting ready for work when he heard gunfire.

"First it was like four shots," he said. "And then it was like pop-pop-pop like 12 times."

Roy Brown, who said he works as a photographer at the club, said sirens sounded not long after the three men left the club.

"They weren't rowdy or nothing like that," said Brown, 57.

A message seeking comment was left at one phone listing for the club; another phone was not answered.

One of the wounded men was in critical condition at Mary Immaculate Hospital and the other was listed as stable.

The three men ranged in age from 23 to 31 years old.

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