Three young men were shot Sunday afternoon outside an apartment building in Huntington Station, Suffolk County police said.
Darius Howard, 16, Devon White, 18, and Philip Perez, 22, were sitting in a white Jeep Grand Cherokee in the parking lot of Lincoln Farm Apartments, 123 First Ave., at about 3:15 p.m. when between eight and 10 men surrounded the vehicle, police said.
"It appears at least two suspects started firing handguns into the vehicle," Suffolk Det. Sgt. Richard Auspaker said, adding that the group then ran away.
Howard, of Greenlawn, suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm and a grazing wound to his head. Perez, of Huntington Station, was shot in his right arm, armpit and hand. White, also of Huntington Station, was hit in his groin.
They were taken to Huntington Hospital, where Auspaker said they were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
White's uncle, Jerry White, 54, who has lived in Lincoln Farm Apartments for about 10 years, said he didn't hear the shots and learned of the shooting after his niece came into his apartment screaming. He then ran into the parking lot.
"Devon was in the car and the other two were on the ground," White said last night. "It's these young guys. They are having problems."
The nephew was out of surgery and seemed to be recovering, his uncle said.
The investigation has led detectives to believe the shooting was gang-related, Auspaker said.
Jerry White said he wasn't sure whether his nephew would have dealings with gangs but added that violence in the area has risen in the past year.
"It's getting bad," he said. "It was just arguing before and now it's guns. This is ridiculous."
Several people who live nearby and residents of the apartment building said they witnessed the chaotic moments after the shooting. Many added that yesterday's shooting contributed to continuing violence that has left them wanting to leave and fearing for their lives.
Last night, Lydia Galloza, 44, who lives across the street from the apartment building, stood outside the yellow police tape guarding the scene and talked about the neighborhood.
"I don't want to live here anymore," said Galloza, a senior technician at BAE systems, adding that in the last year she's heard gunshots on at least five separate occasions. "What if it comes in my direction? There's just too many shootings."
Police said those with tips can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.