Cops: Patchogue man, 19, dies in Christmas Day shooting in Medford
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A Patchogue man was killed and three others sustained nonlife-threatening injuries in a shooting early Christmas Day in Medford, police said.
Suffolk County police said they responded to a 911 call reporting that two masked men had entered Whitestar MTR, an auto repair and restoration shop, on Cedarhurst Avenue. The pair demanded money and shot four people at 3:30 a.m., police said.
Taleik Bristel, 19, of Patchogue, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.
The three other victims were taken to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue. They are expected to survive their injuries, said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Homicide Squad.
The victims were "all social acquaintances," Fitzpatrick said, adding "they were not business associates, they were friends."
Two men were shot in the back, and a woman was shot in the abdomen, Fitzpatrick said. He declined to discuss Bristel's injuries.
Mattie Ulusoy, Bristel's biological mother, said Wednesday that he was born in Riverhead but moved to Patchogue, where he lived with her sister Danielle Dowdy-Spencer, who had adopted her son.
Bristel graduated from Patchogue-Medford High School in 2012, said Ulusoy, 38, a nurse who lives in Coram. He took time off after graduation and was scheduled to go to mechanics school next year, she said.
"This was supposed to be his new year . . . He was interested in cars -- cars and girls . . . Everybody knew him and everybody loved him," Ulusoy said.
She said she saw him two days ago and gave him a Christmas present.
One of the wounded is John Thomas Valles, 34, according to his father, Peter John Valles of North Babylon. The elder Valles was on his way Wednesday night to see his son at the hospital, where he was recovering from a gunshot wound.
Valles said his son owns Whitestar MTR and often stays late to work on cars.
"I believe they [the robbers] just realized he was open late at night and it was an easy target. When you do auto restorations there are times when you just have to get the job done," Peter Valles said.
At the scene, Bristel's aunt, Martha Davenport, 38, of Patchogue, was searching for answers.
"He was just hanging out with his friends, somebody came to rob the place and they shot him first and killed him," Davenport said. "He was hanging out with his friends on Christmas Eve . . . he was supposed to go to the spa this morning with his mother . . . instead of celebrating Christmas we have to make arrangements for my nephew."
No arrests had been made as of Wednesday evening.
"The investigation is early and all options are open," Fitzpatrick said.