Police were investigating Sunday whether a gambling dispute, robbery or something else led to the shooting deaths of four people at an illegal gambling club in Brooklyn that was just blocks from a police precinct.
The New York Police Department identified the dead as Terence Bishop, 36; Dominick Wimbush, 47; Chester Goode, 37; and John Thomas, 32 — all of Brooklyn. Three other people were wounded but expected to survive.
Police said just over a dozen people had been gambling with dice and cards at the small club when the violence erupted just before 7 a.m. Saturday.
The unlicensed club had a sign identifying it as the “Triple A Aces Private & Social Event Space.” It was on the first floor of an older wood-frame townhouse on a block with some empty storefronts and boarded-up buildings.
Multiple shots were fired, and police recovered two handguns, but investigators were still working Sunday to determine what happened. There was no immediate sign that the shootings had any connection to gangs, which have been a problem in that part of Brooklyn.
The local police precinct headquarters is two blocks away, and authorities said officers had not previously received any complaints about the location.
But area residents told the New York Times that complaints had been made to the police. Jose Torres, who lives nearby, said officers had responded to a fight outside the club just a few weeks ago.
Isaac Mickens, a community organizer, described it to the Times as a “hole-in-the-wall gambling den” that was “real tight, real small, casual, low-key.” Samuel Revells told the Times that he was the building owner and had leased the event space out but didn’t say to whom.
Eddie Baldwin, who told CBS New York he was Bishop’s brother, was mourning the man he said he had recently gotten back in touch with.
“We need to put the guns down, that’s the main thing,” he said. “What was the reason? The man is innocent.”