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Long IslandCrime

Police: Gunman who opened fire on group is MS-13 member

Jose Barahona, 19, of Uniondale, allegedly a member

Jose Barahona, 19, of Uniondale, allegedly a member of the street gang MS-13, faces five counts of attempted murder after Nassau police said he opened fire on a group of people last August in Hempstead. Photo Credit: NCPD

A member of the MS-13 street gang faces five counts of attempted murder after opening fire on a group of people last August in a Hempstead yard, wounding two of them, police said Monday.

Jose Barahona, 19, of Clare Road, Uniondale, was arrested at 4:50 p.m. Sunday at parking field 5 in Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, police said.

The shooting took place at 12:57 a.m. on Aug. 17, police said. They did not say what led up to the shooting, or what led investigators to Barahona.

A 37-year-old man was shot in the stomach and a 20-year-old man was shot in the hand and foot, Nassau County police said in a news release. The other three people in the yard on Cameron Avenue were not injured, police said.

The victims were taken to hospitals for treatment, police said.

Nassau Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, a department spokesman, said Monday that Barahona is a member of the MS-13 street gang.

“The Nassau County police are investigating this case as gang-related and believe that the victims and the defendant are familiar with each other,” said LeBrun, who added that the investigation is ongoing.

Barahona remained in custody Monday and is scheduled to appear Wednesday in First District Court in Hempstead, according to court records. He is charged with five counts of attempted murder in the second degree and one count of criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

His arrest comes at a time when there’s national attention focused on MS-13.

A recent eruption of gang violence on Long Island — highlighted by the discovery of the mutilated bodies of four young men in a Central Islip park — fits what experts and sources have said is a new and more deadly profile of the gang.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions last month visited the federal courthouse in Central Islip and pledged “to demolish” the gang as he assured law enforcement officials fighting the threat on Long Island that he and President Donald Trump “have your back.”

With Nicole Fuller

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