A man was fatally stabbed and two others injured early Sunday morning in the heart of the Hempstead Village business district, authorities said.
The homicide follows a spate of violence in Hempstead Village, which experienced a 41 percent increase in violent crime in 2009 compared with 2008, according to state statistics. Village officials held a community meeting about crime two weeks ago and announced 17 new police hirings.
Sunday, Hempstead Village police found three men with stab and slash wounds outside of an electronics store at 69 Main St. following a 3:28 a.m. 911 call, police said. They had been attacked by men and women wielding a knife and broken bottles, police said.
One victim was pronounced dead at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola. One required surgery to his abdomen, and another victim received stitches for a laceration on his arm, police said.
The dead man's name and age were not released.
Det. Lt. John Azzata said the cause of the fight had not been determined. "We're not quite sure what was the precursor to these injuries," Azzata said.
Robin Allen, 38, who lives in an apartment above Main Street, was awakened by the fight. "I heard screaming," she said. "I could hear bottles being broken."
Detectives asked area business owners for surveillance footage and could be seen taking fingerprints from the doorway of a nearby bar, El Mariachi Loco, where witnesses said in interviews that a fight broke out before the stabbing. No one answered the door at the bar Sunday. A woman who answered the phone said she did not know what happened.
The killing took place at Hempstead Village's main crossroads, Fulton Avenue and Main Street, a block from the Nassau County District Court building and two blocks from Hempstead Village Hall. A trail of blood was still visible along Main Street Sunday, even after the Hempstead Fire Department tried to spray it clean.
Bonde Jean-Claude Zereoue, who has lived and run a photography business on Main Street since 1983, blamed the violence on a proliferation of bars in the area in the past decade.
"We cannot walk around at night here anymore. You cannot do anything," Zereoue said.
Police asked anyone with information on the Sunday's slaying to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS.With James Carbone