A parking lot argument preceded a hail of gunfire at a North Amityville apartment complex late Tuesday that left two men shot in a vehicle - one fatally - and a third man wounded on the pavement, according to residents and Suffolk police.
A series of 911 calls of multiple gunshots brought police just after 11:14 p.m. to 2 Andpress Plaza, a group of low buildings and parking lots neighbors said is the frequent scene of police visits and suspected drug dealing.
First Precinct officers found James Terry, 44, of North Amityville, dead from a gunshot wound at the scene. A 40-year-old man with a head wound and a 44-year-old man who was shot in the hip were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, police said.
Ronda Boyd, 37, the sister of one of the wounded men who is raising three children in the complex, said the gunfire was the worst she's heard in her three years there.
"He had some words with some fellas and they just started shooting in retaliation," she said of her brother, David Hodges, who was visiting for the last few days. Boyd said her brother was hit in the head with bullet fragments and was in a coma following surgery Wednesday. Police said he was listed in serious condition. The other injured man remained hospitalized but was expected to recover.
Boyd and others said they knew Terry, known as Chuck, and described him as a man who wasn't known to get into trouble.
"He wasn't that type. He was kind of quiet," said a neighbor who asked to be identified only as Denise. Terry lived with a relative in North Amityville, neighbors said, and was not a frequent visitor at the complex.
Dep. Insp. William Neubauer said detectives conducted interviews through the night but that the motive for the shooting was unclear. "One of the things we're going to be looking into is prior events there or shootings," Neubauer said. No description of the suspect or suspects was available.
Another resident, Katie Lewis, said she pulled into the parking lot late Tuesday with a friend and saw a van wedged against a parked car.
"There was a man in the front seat and a man in the backseat. Both of them were bleeding. It had just happened. I just took off running," she said.