Marijuana raid turns deadly

Two men were shot when they allegedly attempted to rob a house in Wakefield on Tuesday, July 28. Police found one of the two dead at the scene. Photo by Victor Chu

Two men were shot – one fatally – when they burst into a Wakefield home at midnight on Tuesday, July 28. Police found an unknown black male wounded and Nestor Gumbs of Brooklyn, 25, dead at the scene. The men and two others attempted to raid 1704 Bussing Avenue and were fired on by a resident, it was reported.

Police arrested one of the men, James Bowie, at 4111 Laconia Avenue. Bowie has been charged with robbery, burglary, possession of a weapon, grand larceny and criminal trespassing. Skeffery was on vacation on Wednesday, July 29 and Thursday, July 30, a man and woman who answered the phone at 1704 Bussing said. According to the woman, who wouldn’t reveal her name, no residents were hurt during the skirmish.

“I was sleeping,” she said. “I heard the shots and that was it.”

Apparently, the break-in was drug-related. Bowie and an as-yet-unknown man, armed with a silver pistol and a black pistol respectively, approached the owner of 1704 Bussing outside his home, court documents state. They told the owner, “Don’t move, I’ll kill you. Open the door.” Bowie put the owner in a headlock and pointed a pistol at his head. “Open the door,” Bowie repeated.

Inside, Bowie demanded marijuana and more, court documents state. “Give me your money and your weed and your jewelry. Where’s the weed? Give us the weed.” he said. The frightened owner surrendered cash. Community Board 12 district manager Carmen Rosa wasn’t surprised.

“Although the statistics may not show it, we think that violent and drug-related incidents [in CB12] have increased,” she said. “We’re concerned.”

There had been nine murders and 241 robberies in the 47th Precinct in 2009 as of July 26 compared to 11 and 240 as of July 26 in 2008. The 47th Precinct includes Wakefield, Woodlawn, Williamsbridge, Baychester, Edenwald and Olinville.

The break-in was drug-related, 47th Precinct Community Council president Elizabeth Gill confirmed. Investigators didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“We’ve had a lot of homicides lately,” she said. “It seems to be getting out of hand.”

Violent crime in the 47th Precinct tends to follow a cycle; the recent increase may have something to do with the economic recession, Gill said.

The unknown man found injured at the scene was grazed in the head by a bullet, police reported. He was taken to Jacobi Medical Center in stable condition.

It is unclear whether or not the two men who aided Gumbs and Bowie are in custody. Bowie, convicted of assault in 2006, pled not guilty on Thursday, July 30. His bail was set at $250,000.

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