A priest shot in Queens, New York, was taken to Jamaica Hospital and has since been released. Police say Father Damian Ekete, 49, was shot in the arm while walking through an intersection early Sunday morning, but was not the intended target.
Parishioners said those in mass were stunned after an announcement that Father Ekete had been shot by a gunman, the New York Daily News reports. Ekete is a Catholic priest at Church of the Holy Spirit.
Police said the Bronx priest shot in Queens was heading home right after midnight when he was hit with a bulletin in the arm. Authorities said he had been trying to hail a cab after leaving a function.
The bullet may have come from a man in a car, police said. No arrests have been made. Residents said they were shocked about the shooting, the New York Post reported.
“I never hear anybody get shot around here for a long time. Not around here, not that I know of. I’ve been living around here for 15 years,” one woman said.
Another resident said, “It’s sad around here because it’s a fairly good community, but people just don’t know how to act. The things that they shoot for, the things that people bring upon themselves, is just beyond necessary.”
At least two people were killed and six others were injured in separate incidents the same night. A 33-year-old man was shot in the back and a 17-year-old boy was shot in the leg. Both men were taken to a local hospital and “are not cooperating with police.”
NYPD detectives went door to door on Monday trying to see if anyone saw anything that could lead them to whoever opened fire on Father Damian Ekete. A surveillance video shows a man matching Father Damian Ekete’s description wearing dark pants, light top, and a hat.
He was relaxed and standing on the curb. It was just after midnight as he appeared to be looking for a cab.
In the video, the man believed to be Ekete, has his hands in his pockets and approaches a man on the corner. That person appeared to be the intended target.
Ekete talked with the man for about 40 seconds and then walked away. Then the suspect’s car appears, and police say someone inside opens fire and the man on the corner ducks and runs up the block.
NBC News said the priest shot in Queens, New York, went to a nearby church after being struck, and was transported from there to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition. No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.