Bullets flew and scores of young people scattered during a chaotic gunbattle outside a Queens house party, shaken residents said.
The violence erupted about 11:35 p.m. Friday at 219th Street and 130th Avenue in Laurelton, cops said.
Plain-clothes officers in unmarked vehicles were watching the party because they feared there was a “potential for violence by some of the local street crews,” police said.
That’s when four people rolled up and allegedly opened fire on the nearly 100 partygoers, some of whom shot back, said authorities, who added that the undercover officers also fired off 14 shots. In all, four people were hurt, cops said.
None of the injuries were life-threatening, police said Saturday. Charges are pending.
The NYPD was still sorting out if cops wounded any of the suspects and if the four arrested all took part in the gunplay.
“There were shots fired but they were fired out on the streets, not within the party itself,” said Julian Phillips, the NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, adding, “We do not know whether or not this is gang-related. This is still under investigation at this point.”
“We do not know how many rounds have been fired by the folks who started the shooting,” Phillips added.
Cops are looking for additional suspects.
“There were groups of people that came up on this party and there were people inside the party and that’s when this whole altercation started,” Phillips said.
Parents supervising the party and the family had previously hosted weddings, birthdays and summer soirees without incident, neighbors said.
Sophia Steadman-Franklin was watching TV when she heard “a lot of gunshots. It was like pop-pop-pop and that’s when I got up and ran to the window. We didn’t let anyone in the house. I was scared. … I saw all the lights flashing and the police.
“I was shaking like a leaf,” she said. “I was in my bathroom standing in the tub looking out the window and the kids were running and screaming. They were running in my backyard, my neighbor’s backyard because they were trying to jump the fence. I have blood on my fence. They broke the fence down in the backyard. It was chaotic, it was terrible.”
Her husband, retired NYPD officer Dwayne Franklin, said up to 40 kids couldn’t get out because the gate was locked, so they attempted to scale it.
“They were screaming, ‘Let us out. Let me in the house.’ It was a lot of gunshots. It was like right there, like they were shooting in my yard.”
“This is what goes on. Ever since COVID, there is a lot of guns now so parties are not what they used to be. Parties are all about guns, now everybody’s packing,” he lamented
Police recovered three Smith & Wesson firearms from the scene.
Four males, ages 16, 17, 18, and 24, were shot.
Three of the wounded went to Jamaica Hospital. A fourth went to Cohen Children’s Medical Center, police said.
Two of the suspected shooters who opened fire on the party were out on charges in other cases, including a robbery and a gun case, a police source told The Post.
“Make no mistake, the lives of detectives are in grave danger when they go to work in this city. The politicians, prosecutors, and judges who are releasing violent people back to the streets, combined with failed laws like ‘raise the age’ are endangering the very detectives who arrest these recidivists — and the New Yorkers they courageously serve. And these officials remain as unaccountable as the criminals,” said Paul DiGiacomo, head of the Detectives Endowment Association.