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Cops probe shooting outside Riverhead hotel

Riverhead police are investigating a late Wednesday shooting outside a downtown hotel and any ties between the victim and the suspects.

One of two masked assailants fired three shots at Jerome Eleazer, 19, of Bellport, as he sat in a car at the marina parking lot next to the Hyatt Place East End hotel on East Main Street, said Det. Frank Hernandez.

Eleazer told officers he had been staying at the hotel, and after he got into his car, two masked suspects approached him and ordered him to get out, police said.

He refused and as gunshots broke his car window, he drove off, police said.

Witnesses at the hotel reported seeing the shooting and said the armed suspect also shot twice at the hotel before jumping into a vehicle with two others, Hernandez said.

Not long afterward, an officer stopped Eleazer after seeing him drive erratically on East Main Street about 11:15 p.m., police said.

After telling police about the shooting, Eleazer said he was not injured and did not want to pursue the matter, Hernandez said.

"The victim was uncooperative," the detective said.

Police believe Eleazer was targeted and that the shooting was not a random act.

"They just called him by his nickname," Hernandez said.

Detectives on the shooting case are trying to gather evidence, including video surveillance footage and other witnesses, to see exactly what happened, including whether the suspects' vehicle tried to follow Eleazer.

"We're still early in the investigation," Hernandez said. "We're still trying to sort everything out."

Anyone with information on the shooting can call Riverhead police at 631-727-4500.

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