Brooklyn man wounds two workers, kills self, say cops
A Brooklyn man shot two workers and himself at a Gowanus factory Monday, the latest in a wave of shootings that also left three dead and 17 wounded over the weekend, officials said.
Monday afternoon, the NYPD hadn't officially identified the gunman, who authorities said wounded the two male workers at about 11:15 a.m. before killing himself after a standoff with police officers.
A law enforcement source identified the shooter as Waithe Cameron, 54.
Reached by telephone, a woman who identified herself as Cameron's mother but who didn't want to be identified, described him as having emigrated from Barbados about 30 years ago. She said he worked at a delivery company for about 17 years before he was injured. The woman said she did not know why Cameron went to the offices of C&A Works.
The shooting came on the heels of the third straight weekend where at least 12 people in the city were hit by gunfire, police said. Twenty people were struck by bullets over this past weekend, police said. Three victims died. Among the wounded, a 10-year-old boy shot as he walked with friends Saturday in Coney Island and a 12-year-old boy struck in the leg Sunday in the Bronx, police said.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said the shootings don't represent a larger trend.
"We've had an increase, a temporary increase, in shootings," Bratton said. "Crime goes up, it goes down."
Homicides are down 11 percent this year as are most serious crimes, according to the NYPD.
Monday's shooting occurred when the man arrived at the offices of C&A Works, a steel fabricating company located near the intersection of 13th Street and Hamilton Place, and opened fire on the employees, said Chief of Patrol James O'Neill. The victims were shot inside the building and then ran to the street, he said.
Dmitry Tovakin, 28, a welder at C&A, said the shooter came in asking for a job and was told to go up the steps and ask for the boss. Instead he took out a gun.
"When he started shooting, I went down under the table. I hid behind the metal stocks," Tovakin said.
Police said both wounded men were in stable condition at a hospital late Monday.
O'Neill said the shooter barricaded himself in a back storage room after he shot the workers. Officers from the NYPD's hostage negotiation team attempted to talk him into surrendering.
The man "threw out a black . . . device, " said Lt. Jack Cambria. A law enforcement official said the device was the metal casing of a flashlight partially filled with black powder, with what appeared to be a fuse attached.
An emergency services unit officer took the device away and negotiators continued talks with the shooter, Cambria said.
"We thought we had a positive dialogue going with him, but finally he just made the decision and he killed himself," Cambria said.
With Alison Fox, Noelani Montero and AP