Elderly innocent bystander injured in shooting

One Pelham Parkway South resident suffered from being at the wrong place, at the wrong time this holidays.

Seventy-five year old Vincs Ndreka was shot in his left leg at about 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 24. The Waring Avenue resident was walking at the intersection of Wallace and Astor avenues, on his way to meet up with some friends, when the stray bullet hit him.

Police are still looking for the shooter, but are confident they will catch the person responsible.

“We have very good direction in the case,” Kevin Nicholson, captain of the 49th Precinct, said.

He did not comment about why the shooting occurred in the first place, or about reports that the suspected shooter is a resident of the area.

According to Kristina Ndreka, Vincs’ daughter-in-law, Ndreka, who does not speak English, was on his way to meet up with friends in a nearby park. It was a daily routine for the Albanian native.

“He was walking with his hands in his pockets. He was looking at the sidewalk and he heard some noise,” she said. “He didn’t know what it was about, but some of them had a gun. He felt the bullet in his leg and he fell down. Some people helped him and called the police.”

Witnesses say they saw two groups of teens arguing before the shots rang out. Police searched nearby apartment buildings and even employed a police helicopter to help in the search.

Ndreka was taken to Jacobi Medical Center with a non-life threatening injury to his left thigh. He was treated at the hospital that night and he spent Thanksgiving recovering from his wounds. He was home by Friday night, Kristina said.

She said the accident is unfortunate, but does not feel that the neighborhood is unsafe. “I think it’s just an accident,” she said.

Though the shooting is the second in the Pelham Parkway South neighborhood in nearly a year, 49 th Precinct Community Council president, Joe Thompson, said the neighborhood is still very safe.

“We really haven’t had much trouble in a while,” he said. “Pelham Parkway has gotten pretty calm as far as violence is concerned.”

For a long time the area had issues with shootings because of drug dealers around Holland and Lydig avenues, Thompson said. He credits an increase in police and auxiliary police patrols, which largely interrupted the criminal activity, for lowering number of shootings in the area.

“This sounds to me like a random thing,” he said, about Wednesday’s incident. “It’s very unfortunate.”

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