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Gunshot

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Suffolk County Police arrested a Dix Hills man for fatally shooting his girlfriend in Dix Hills Thursday night, April 14.

Police said Eric Bermudez confronted his girlfriend, Regina Flecha, on Burroughs Avenue, north of Kenmore Street, at approximately 7:30 p.m. and shot her multiple times. Bermudez then pulled Flecha into his vehicle and drove away from the scene. Two 3rd Precinct detectives observed Bermudez’s vehicle speeding on Fifth Avenue in Bay Shore and pulled over the vehicle when they discovered the victim. Bay Shore-Brightwaters Rescue Ambulance responded to the traffic stop and transported Flecha, 37 of Dix Hills, to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where she died a short time later.

Homicide Squad detectives charged Bermudez, 36, of 10 Black Pine Court, with second-degree murder.

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A man was shot in the early hours of Saturday morning behind a restaurant on New York Avenue.

The Suffolk County Police Department said 39-year-old Francisco Palma was sitting in a car in a parking lot behind Melissa Restaurant, which is located near West Pulaski Road, at about 1 a.m. when an unknown person fired two shots at his vehicle.

Police said Palma, a Farmingdale resident, was hit in his left arm and was treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Huntington Hospital.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the shooting.

Anyone with information is asked to call the squad at 631-854-8252, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

Sheldon Leftenant, the man who allegedly shot police officer Mark Collins, is escorted out of the 3rd Precinct on his way to arraignment in March. File photo by Barbara Donlon

A trial will begin Tuesday for a man accused of shooting an officer after fleeing a police stop in Huntington Station last winter.

Officer Mark Collins was seriously injured when he was shot in the neck and the hip on the night of March 11 during an alleged struggle with the suspect, 23-year-old Huntington Station resident Sheldon Leftenant, who has pleaded not guilty to attempted aggravated murder of a police officer, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and resisting arrest.

Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota said earlier this year that Leftenant faces up to life in prison if he is convicted.

Collins was in plainclothes while working for the 2nd Precinct’s gang unit on the night of the shooting, and helped pull over a car in which Leftenant was a passenger, Spota said. When asked to get out of the car, the suspect fled and Collins gave chase until he cornered Leftenant, an alleged member of the “Tip Top Boyz” street gang, on Mercer Court.

“He had his police-issued Taser in hand,” Spota said. “He never drew his weapon.”

The DA said at the time that Collins, who was unaware the suspect had a gun, used his Taser on Leftenant twice, hitting him in his back.

Sheldon Leftenant, the man who allegedly shot police officer Mark Collins, is escorted to his arraignment in March. File photo by Barbara Donlon
Sheldon Leftenant, the man who allegedly shot police officer Mark Collins, is escorted to his arraignment in March. File photo by Barbara Donlon

“While it brought the defendant to the ground, unfortunately it did not completely immobilize him,” Spota said.

When Collins went to handcuff Leftenant in that Mercer Court driveway, there was struggle, he said. A gun fired four times in quick succession and Collins was shot in the hip and in the neck, close to his carotid artery.

“Collins knew right away he had been shot because he couldn’t feel anything on his right side and he couldn’t move at all his right arm or his right leg,” Spota said.

To protect himself, the injured officer dragged himself over to a stoop and took cover under his bulletproof vest, facing it toward the suspect.

Spota said Leftenant fled after the shooting and dropped the weapon in the backyard of a neighboring property before hiding about a quarter of a mile from the scene.

Canine unit officers arrived and found both the gun allegedly used to shoot Collins as well as Leftenant.

At the time of Leftenant’s arraignment, defense attorney Ian Fitzgerald said his client was sorry to be in this situation, but wouldn’t comment any further.

A handful of the suspect’s family members were in the audience at that court appearance. They would not comment on Leftenant’s case either, but they left the courtroom chanting, “Free Shel.”

This case was not the first time Leftenant’s name had been involved in a shooting. About seven months earlier, he was shot in the groin while standing with a group of people in front of his Tippin Drive home, when two vehicles drove by and someone fired a gun.

At that time, police said Leftenant was originally treated for non-life-threatening injuries at Huntington Hospital and later underwent surgery at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset.

Although Collins was seriously wounded in the shooting last March, he has since recovered and returned to work, the DA’s office said recently, calling the officer “a decorated 13-year veteran.”

The two other shots from the .38-caliber revolver were found inside the home on whose property the struggle took place, the DA said, but no one inside at the time was injured.

Opening statements in Leftenant’s trial were scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in Riverhead.

 

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Police are hunting for an armed robbery suspect after a man was shot in the leg in an incident on Monday night.

A male suspect in a mask, who was carrying a gun, allegedly approached a gas pump attendant at the USA station on New York Avenue in Huntington Station that night, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. The assailant demanded cash.

Police said a “confrontation ensued” and the suspect fired a shot that hit the attendant in the leg, after which the robber fled on foot — with the cash.

The victim’s injury was treated at Huntington Hospital.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the armed robbery, which occurred a little before 10 p.m., and police said they are searching for a 6-foot black male with a thin build.

Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 631-854-8252, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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Gunshots rang out in the Huntington area twice over the weekend, leading police to find injured young men lying on the ground in separate but similar incidents.

The first shooting occurred early on Saturday morning in Huntington Station. The Suffolk County Police Department said at about 1:35 a.m., officers responded to West Hills Road and President Street after a 911 call reported the shooting. Those 2nd Precinct officers found 22-year-old local resident Nelson Hernandez lying on the sidewalk, a gunshot wound to his back.

Not even 24 hours later, just after midnight on Sunday, 2nd Precinct officers responded to Stuyvesant Street in Greenlawn, between Crown Avenue and Brand Drive, after another 911 call reporting a shooting. Police said they found 18-year-old Aaron Jolly, a Northport resident, lying in the street with a gunshot wound on his right leg.

Hernandez was in serious condition at Huntington Hospital, police said, and Jolly was treated and released from the same facility.

In both cases, police reported that the shooter was unknown. Hernandez was shot while walking on West Hills Road near President Street, and it was not clear whether there was a single shooter of multiple assailants. Jolly was reportedly standing in the street when he was shot by an unknown person.

Detectives from the SCPD’s 2nd Squad are investigating the two shootings. Anyone with information is asked to call them at 631-854-8252, or to call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.