Gunman on scooter charged with murder, attempted murder, for series of New York City shootings

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This photo provided by the New York City Police Department, Saturday, July 8, 2023, shows a motor scooter recovered at the scene of a shooting, in the Queens borough of New York. An 86-year-old New York City man was fatally shot and at least two others were seriously wounded by a man on a scooter who police say was shooting randomly at cars and pedestrians in Queens on Saturday. (New York City Police Department via AP)

NEW YORK – A Brooklyn man accused of killing an 86-year-old and injuring three other men in a series of shootings while riding a scooter in New York City is charged with murder and attempted murder, police said Sunday.

In all, six apparently random shootings occurred in Brooklyn and Queens on Saturday, according to police.

The motive of the alleged gunman, identified Sunday as 25-year-old Thomas Abreu, was unknown, police said.

Police arrested Abreu without incident Saturday. The New York Police Department pulled an image of the gunman from video and sent it to officers, who spotted him a couple hours after the first shooting, police said.

Police confiscated a scooter and a 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine. Abreu was charged with murder, two counts of attempted murder and six counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

The shootings began around 11:10 a.m., when the gunman shot a 21-year-old man in the shoulder in Brooklyn. The man was brought to a hospital and was expected to survive, police said.

Soon after, Abreu allegedly shot Hamod Saeidi, 86, of Queens, in the Richmond Hill area of Queens. Saeidi later died at a hospital.

Shortly afterward in Queens, witnesses reported a man on a scooter firing randomly into a group of people, although nobody was hurt.

Eight minutes later, a 44-year-old man was shot in the face. He was in critical condition at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

About one minute later, a 63-year-old man was shot in the torso. He was in stable condition at a hospital.

On Sunday, police reported a sixth related shooting at an intersection in Queens. A 40-year-old man fired upon was unhurt.

Killings in the nation’s most populous city have risen in recent years to about where they were a decade ago but still well below an early-1990s peak. Gunfire injuries surged in New York City during the pandemic and remain stubbornly high. The city has confronted a series of high-profile crimes.

Mayor Eric Adams, a former New York City police captain, has called for getting more guns off the streets.


This story was first published on July 9, 2023. It was updated on July 10, 2023, to correct a victim’s name. The Associated Press, quoting New York City police, erroneously identified one of the victims. New court documents show his correct name is Hamod Saedi, not Hamoo Saedi.