A man was shot twice on 9th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen early on Saturday evening. Police cordoned off the area in front of The Forbidden Cannabis smoke store and Lubian Chinese Grilled Fish.

NYPD Forbidden Cannabis
NYPD outside The Forbidden Cannabis store on 9th Avenue this evening after the shooting. Photo: Catie Savage

The incident happened on 9th Avenue, just south of W46th Street, at 5:44pm, according to a statement from NYPD. The New York Post obtained surveillance video of the shooting showing a dispute involving a group in front of the restaurant — and when shooting started them fleeing up 9th Avenue.

The 28-year-old male went to Mount Sinai West Hospital by private means after the attack. Police say that the investigation is ongoing at this time and there have been no arrests.

This year, there have been concerns in the neighborhood about crime around smoke shops. In January, a Hell’s Kitchen smoke shop worker was shot on 9th Avenue after a dispute involving at least six men.

Earlier this week, one of the more than 30 illicit smoke shops in Hell’s Kitchen went up in flames after a basement fire on W52nd Street. City officials have insisted that the stores are illegal and back in February Mayor Eric Adams and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg declared a new initiative to smoke out New York’s 1,400 unlicensed cannabis shops.

NYPD Forbidden Cannabis Shooting
NYPD officers and detectives outside The Forbidden Cannabis store on 9th Avenue this evening after the shooting. Photo: Catie Savage

Council Member Erik Bottcher told us this evening: “I am angered and saddened to learn of a shooting incident that occurred on W46th Street and 9th Avenue today. My office is in touch with the NYPD Midtown North precinct, who has informed us that one person was shot after an argument between two individuals. The wounded person drove themselves to a hospital for treatment, while the shooter fled in another vehicle. Such senseless acts of violence have no place in our city, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms. The NYPD canvassed for video of the incident to bring those involved to justice. We stand united with the community in our commitment to ending gun violence and ensuring the safety and security of all New Yorkers.”

Overnight, a smoke shop called Kiss My Smoke was robbed at gunpoint further down 9th Avenue at W34th Street.

This story has been updated after viewing the New York Post’s surveillance footage.

Join the Conversation


  1. I hope that the man shot is OK. I hope that the women and men who witnessed the shooting are OK.
    If the marijuana shops are illegal then why are they not shut down?
    Are all of the illegal marijuana shops owned by the same person(s)? I ask because they all have the exact same interior design.
    Hell’s Kitchen reeks of marijuana, garbage is everywhere, rooftop frat parties pollute nighttime peace, windows are boarded up, drug activity on sidewalks is increasing exponentially. What happened to Hell’s Kitchen? Other neighborhoods in NYC are not falling apart.
    Is there a plan to fix this nightmare?

  2. Did the shooting have anything to do with the cannabis store, or did it simply happen to take place in front of it? Similarly, did the fire have anything to do with the other cannabis store, or was it unrelated? I like staying informed of problems in the neighborhood, and if these unlicensed shops are actually a problem I’d like to know that. But I’m not seeing clear links here.

        1. Thank you, Maureen. This is very helpful. I too an a little disappointed in the coverage of smoke shops here, as there seems to be a rush to blanket condemnation. Personally, I detest the smell of pot and as a sober person I have no reason to patronize these smoke shops. But I don’t like knee-jerk condemnation. Can we get some nuance, Phil and W42St? You all are normally a great resource for neighborhood news!

          1. The blanket condemnation is with good cause. Many of these smoke shops are also dealing pot, which is illegal. These places are a magnet for robberies. Do you really think there’s that much demand for their legal product that the shops are literally on every block?!?

          2. Larry R, “pot” has been decriminalized in NY and we are now in a transition to legal retail operations. Obviously there will be bumps along the way as an illegal substance is moved into legality, but puritanical anti-drug fear mongering has never been the answer. Claiming that these stores are a “magnet for robberies” doesn’t make it true.

      1. Hold on a moment, look at the video and ask yourself whether you think these guys are residents, or from our neighbors at all.

        They are here selling drugs with the anchor points of their activity being these smoke shops, whether implicitly or explicitly – it doesn’t matter. The practical result remains that by way of the affiliation they are bringing in other undesirables to our neighborhood to partake in the narcotics trade…

        Here is the bottom line -> until these smoke shops are gone, this is going to be an increasing threat and no amount of band-aids or hand-wringing is going to change that.

        So let us all get to the solution ASAP before one of us winds up in the middle of this utterly inept gunplay. The shops need to be gone, now – via one means or another.

        1. The shooting was in front of a Chinese restaurant. So maybe your problem is with Chinese restaurants.

          1. Maureen, let me repeat… they are using the illegal weed shops as anchor points. Simple test – walk Ninth Ave and just observe where these guys are hanging and where they are not…

            With respect to your comment regarding Chinese restaurants – I would point out that the owners of the establishments are our allies in this… Do you thing they want gunplay in front of their establishment? Of course not, but that is what they are getting…

        2. I once had a guy offer me drugs in front of Manhattan Mini Storage. Should we ban self storage businesses? Good grief, the wild claims and overt prejudice in many of these comments is really quite sad. If you don’t like marijuana, don’t shop at these stores. I don’t. But driving drugs back underground makes all of us less safe than embracing these new businesses.

          I am in favor of these businesses following regulations and becoming permitted and legal, and it’s not ideal when these shops are operating without permits. But it’s clear from several of these comments that some people are against the very existence of these stores.

          1. Gregg, you are right. Self storage businesses are a blight to the blocks they are on, they are effectively long-term waste storage facilities before the locker contents are finally thrown out.

            Apartments, offices, supermarkets, services, most anything can make better use of a city block than a storage facility.

  3. Right near the notorious 44th Street. First the stabbing, then the last shooting, now this. It’s sad and it’s frightening.

    1. Over time, without enforcement of basic quality of life laws, there has grown a feeling of lawlessness that feeds on itself and sadly escalates into this. Unlicensed, unenforced marijuana sales, illegal parking everywhere including fake plates and silly dashboard unofficial emblems, filthy poo stained sidewalks, dangerous motorized bikers, aggressive panhandling, etc., etc. It all adds up and life deteriorates.

  4. If indeed it was a weed shop related incident then responsibility falls squarely at the feet of the New York State legislature and their inability to enforce laws they pass once they are passed. A failure of governance.

  5. I liked when the precinct would put rookie cops on 9th Ave. – I think for training purposes… they were accessible and seemed to add something to the neighborhood and maybe help to mitigate some of these incidents. I hate when this happens in my neighborhood.

  6. Hell’s Kitchen has been suffering for some time from lack of social services for the unhoused, drug addiction, and illegal, prolific Smoke Shop sales of cannabis. Now, our HK Free Store is being blamed for the decline in quality of life/safety/sanitation that has been growing.
    We are having a meeting tonight at Crossroads, 410 W 45th St, at 6:30p to talk, listen, and decide the fate of our Free Store. All are welcome.

  7. In relation to the smoke shops, I would reeaally love to know how come the police let the drug dealer on 9th and 44th open a table outside and display his weed for sale like it’s a lemonade stand? Even if it’s legal now, can you sell alcohol and cigarettes just like that on the streets? No. So how come they allow this? btw I have no doubt in my mind he’ll sell to minors. There are few schools around. Is this what you call progress?

    1. In reply to why the police allow open drug dealing on 44th?
      They permit it because there is insufficient incentive to intervene – and that is the key to understanding both the problem and the solution we find ourselves in.

      As a practical level if we want our neighborhood cleaned up then it is us who are going to have to bring sufficient pain upon those persons and entities who are responsible, so that OUR pain dominates their day, and action is forced…

      What does this mean? It means identifying those whose responsibility it is to maintain order ( Precinct command and above ), those who abet the problems ( the landlords who permit garbage to lay on the street without being summoned by DSNY, landlords and city inspectors who permit illegal bike and weed shops to operate, and the restaurants whose couriers are delivering orders while biking outside bike lanes) and force the situation in each of these cases to the point where not taking action favorable to our needs is impossible…

      This is not rocket science, in fact it’s actually quite do-able…it is a straightforward one of sufficient boots on the ground from within our community to implement the required continuous multi-pronged application and maintenance of force.

      This neighborhood can be brought back to a point of civility, but only to the point it’s residents are willing to get together and commit to action…

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