NYPD: 2 men shot and killed near Astoria nightclubs, 3 suspects wanted
NEW YORK -- Two young men died in a shooting overnight in Astoria, Queens and police are searching for three suspects.
It happened at around 10:30 p.m. Friday at Astoria Boulevard and Steinway Street, a block with several nightclubs and a mosque.
Witnesses leaving after prayer services said they heard a string of gunshots and saw one victim collapse to the ground.
Police identified the men as 22-year-old Xavier Roberts and 21-year-old Jaheim Hamilton. They were shot in the torso and pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital, according to police.
Neighbors told CBS2 the stretch of nightclubs on the street has been a growing problem and fights frequently break out.
"So I was coming out of my apartment a couple blocks away, and I heard, must have been 20 shots in rapid succession," said witness Chris Luth.
"I was walking, I heard the shots go off. I was very scared. My cousin, he just came from Morocco, he now wants to go back," another person said.
"This area became very, very, very bad. What used to be one of the best neighborhoods in New York City. After they opened up four, five clubs, it became one of the most dangerous areas," said Mohammed Hussein, who works in Astoria.
Overall, shootings in this neighborhood are up slightly, with five incidents so far this year, compared to three at the same time last year.
Police released a picture of three suspects they're looking for. Investigators said two of them opened fire and shot the victims several times.
Police said the suspects got away in a red Jeep Grand Cherokee with a red and black hood.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
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