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NYPD combing license plate readers, video surveillance in fatal shooting of Lionel 'Chinx' Pickens

NYPD announces a new CrimeStoppers initiative at the

NYPD announces a new CrimeStoppers initiative at the 28 Precinct station house in Manhattan on May 19, 2015 Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Detectives are poring over the results of electronic license-plate readers and looking for video surveillance in the search for the killers of rapper Lionel "Chinx" Pickens early Sunday in Queens, officials said.

Twelve shots were fired from the same 9-mm handgun in the slaying of Pickens as he drove near Queens Boulevard and 84th Drive in the Briarwood section, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said Tuesday. At least seven rounds struck the car.

Detectives are looking through license-plate scanner hits in an effort to identify vehicles in the vicinity of the assassination scene while the search continues for video that may have captured the getaway car, Boyce said.

"I do not have an eyeball witness to that [shooting] scene," Boyce told reporters Tuesday. "So we are trying to get [the] cars involved as we go forward. A lot of video downloads are going on right now."

Cops were sending a new Crime Stoppers van, unveiled Tuesday, to the area Tuesday night to drum up possible witnesses.

Pickens, 31, had finished a performance at the Red Wolf nightclub in Brooklyn at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday when he and a small entourage drove to the Cloud 9 hookah lounge on Union Turnpike in the Fresh Meadows section to discover that the place was closed, police said.

Pickens then drove his Porsche to the Queens Boulevard area, where the drive-by shooting occurred. Pickens was pronounced dead at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. His friend Antar Alziadi, 27, was wounded and remained in critical condition Tuesday at the hospital.

Pickens, who lived in Ozone Park, usually had a member of his security team drive him, but on Sunday morning he was driving himself, Boyce said. One security team member had been in a following car, Boyce explained. Boyce said there didn't appear to be any argument at the Red Wolf, and police were still trying to determine a motive. But he was concerned about the possibility of revenge.

"There is always the issue of retaliation in these things," Boyce said. "So far we haven't [heard] that from the media. Right now a lot of people are asking questions, rather than giving information. As we drill down in the investigation we will find out more."

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