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Police are searching for gunmen who shot a sanitation worker on W52nd Street between 10/11th Avenue today at around 11:15am this morning. A local business owner, who asked us to withhold their name, told us: “I heard dogs barking and an unnatural commotion outside and was about to pop my head out the window to see what was happening and I heard three shots ring out. I called 911.”
The witness told us that NYPD was on the scene within minutes. Police initially reported that there were three assailants involved in the shooting and they were looking for a black C-300 Mercedes Benz with a New York Plate JPW4135 which headed up 10th Avenue after the incident. The car was later found abandoned in Chelsea.
It appears that the victim’s injuries are not life threatening. He was taken by ambulance from the scene and appeared conscious throughout the ordeal.
Local council member Erik Bottcher confirmed that the man shot was a worker with the City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY). “I’m told that a sanitation worker has been shot in the leg and is being treated in the hospital. This madness has to stop!” Bottcher said in a tweet this afternoon.
Police confirmed that the injured man was a 40-year-old on-duty DSNY worker. He was shot once in the leg and was taken to St Luke’s Hospital with his injuries. The incident started as a domestic dispute between the daughter of the sanitation worker and her ex-boyfriend. The ex was accompanied by his brother who got into a verbal dispute with the father before the shooting occurred.
A spokesperson for DSNY told us this afternoon: “At this time, we are relieved to hear that the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. This is an active investigation and we are standing by to assist our partners at NYPD in any way we can. Commissioner Grayson went to the hospital to join the Sanitation Worker.”
The witness told us: “It’s shocking and sad to see violence first-hand in our neighborhood but grateful for the swift and strong response of the NYPD. It’s lucky it was at this time of the day, there’s a kids school right there a couple of doors down.”
W52nd Street is closed, as is 11th Avenue at W53rd Street. This story is developing — please check back for updates.
UPDATE: The New York Post has exclusive video footage of the shooting. Warning — it includes graphic content.