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Botched drug deal in Central Islip leads to shooting and chase

Suffolk County police K-9 unit searches along Brightside

Suffolk County police K-9 unit searches along Brightside Avenue and Division Avenue on April 23, 2014, where they searched for several armed subjects after an armed robbery in Central Islip. Credit: James Carbone

A drug deal gone bad on the streets of Central Islip on Wednesday escalated into a chase, crash, shooting and a police manhunt for suspects, authorities said.

Two suspects were arrested, but others involved in the incident were still being sought after an intensive air and ground search that extended into neighboring Brentwood, Suffolk police said.

The drug sellers and buyers met about 12:50 p.m. near Suffolk Avenue and Allyn Court in a prearranged deal, police said.

"Something happened that led to a car chase and shots being fired," said Det. Sgt. John Diffley of the Third Precinct.

The buyers took the drugs but drove off without paying, so the sellers sped after them in a chase that went through Central Islip, police said.

The chase ended when the buyers' vehicle crashed into a brick wall surrounding a property, police said.

The buyers got out of their vehicle and fired several shots at the sellers, police said.

No one was hurt, police said.

A bystander reported the incident, launching a police response that included officers from Suffolk's Third and Fourth precincts, a helicopter and police dogs, authorities said.

Both the sellers and buyers took off from the crash and shooting scene, but several of them were tracked down after an intense search that lasted until late afternoon, police said. Not all were arrested and charged last night, they said.

As officers canvassed two communities for the suspects, Long Island Rail Road service between Central Islip and Brentwood was halted or delayed as electricity was shut down so police could search along the tracks. The Central Islip school district went on lockdown as officers searched nearby, school officials said.

Two suspects were being charged with first-degree robbery, police said.

Diffley said detectives continued Wednesday night to piece together what happened by talking to the victims and the witnesses and going through 911 calls.

Other details, including the suspects' names, were not immediately available Wednesday night.

Anyone with information can call detectives at 631-854-8352.

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