Suffolk County police are searching for a shooter who seriously wounded two men outside a home in Wyandanch late Friday, in a neighborhood where a church is working hard to save the community.
Police said they responded to a call on North 22nd Street about 11:30 p.m. and found two wounded men.
One victim, who was shot in the leg, was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, where he was listed in critical but stable condition, police said. The second victim, shot in the chest, was in critical and guarded condition at the hospital, police said.
No description of a suspect was immediately available.
Pastor Robert Alexander, who leads New Shiloh Baptist Church on Merritt Avenue, which intersects with North 22nd Street, a few houses from the shooting scene, said Saturday that the street is rife with drugs, prostitution and gangs.
Police did not have immediately available statistics on local crime. Eric Brooks, 35, of Wyandanch, was fatally shot outside his girlfriend's home on North 22nd in 2012.
"Our vision is to encourage the children and give them an alternative, a positive atmosphere," said Alexander, who has pastored the church for 15 years.
Bennie Washington, 37, who lives next door to the shooting scene, said he had just put his daughter to bed when the shooting erupted.
"About 10 shots rang out," said Washington, who said he ducked and looked around to ensure his child was uninjured. "I wasn't sure if the bullets were coming through my home or what."
He said the violence needs to stop.
Alexander, who has been involved in efforts to halt neighborhood crime, hosted a block party for about 100 youths last weekend.On Saturday, he and some members of his church held a farmers market for nearby residents who do not have transportation. Suffolk police said the investigation into the shooting is continuing.