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Teen in shooting at barbecue gets 7 years in prison

A teenager who pleaded guilty to crashing a crowded graduation barbecue and shooting into a group of people outside an Elmont home was sentenced Wednesday to nearly seven years in prison.

Prosecutors said Amir Samuel, 18, of Elmont, shot into a group of about 50 people in June 2008, hitting two in the foot, one in the wrist and another in the leg.

Police said Samuel showed up uninvited to the private party on Hoffman Avenue and was told he could not enter. He then started arguing with people at the party, police said.

At the sentencing before Acting State Supreme Court Justice Alan Honorof, defense lawyer Douglas Rankin, of Brooklyn, asked that his client's sentence for first-degree assault be set at 6 years 11 months. That would keep Samuel from being sent to a maximum security prison, which is mandated with sentences beyond 7 years. Honorof agreed.

None of the shooting victims attended the sentencing.

A witness who followed Samuel after the shooting called police, who arrested him about midnight on Fourth Street and Belmont Avenue in Elmont, police said.

"What should have been a night of celebration instead turned tragic because of this defendant's vindictive and violent actions," said Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice in a statement.

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