NEW YORK CITY — A spate of shootings have been tied to arguments over high-stakes dice games, DNAinfo New York has learned.
At least four shootings — including one murder — have occurred in the past two weeks that stem from guys throwing dice for dough on street corners, sources told “On The Inside.”
The latest shooting happened on Independence Day on E. 108th Street near Flatland and Glenwood avenues in Brooklyn when a 28-year-old man who had just left a dice game at 2 a.m. was suddenly confronted by two other players who opened fire, sources said.
The wounded dice player was hit in the leg and taken to a nearby hospital. Witnesses told police there had been a fight at the game before the shooting occurred.
Sources say when detectives arrived to question the victim at his bedside, he was “uncooperative” and told them to leave.
They did, but not before charging him with having three outstanding bench warrants for failing to show up in court in connection with a May arrest for allegedly jumping a subway turnstile and possessing a gravity knife.
“There can be a lot of money at these games and people get angry,” a top law enforcement source said, adding that he believed there were six to eight shootings recently involving dice games.
“But it's not the dice, it is the guns. Whether it is playing dice, dealing drugs, or giving out credit cards with your information to bang out in a club, when they can’t get along, they have to shoot one another."
The NYPD has been dealing with a roughly 10 percent rise in murders and shootings this year, though crime overall remains down 6 percent for the first half of 2015, police statistics show.
The law enforcement source said local precinct commanders will be asked to step up patrols at locations where they believe dice games take place to deter the illegal gambling that has led to violence.
A dice game killing occurred on June 25 in The Bronx when two people who had been gambling were shot at point-blank range in front of 1597 Unionport Road in the 43rd Precinct, sources said.
One victim, Daquan Cooper, 23, of Holland Avenue, was fatally struck in the head while a 35-year-old woman suffered several gunshot wounds to her legs.
Police sources said they had been “hanging out playing dice” with seven other men before the shooting.
Two days earlier, on June 23, a 17-year-old teenage player walking away from a game in front of 301 W. 130th St. in Harlem was approached by two men and shot in the buttocks and groin, sources said.
The victim was later described by police as “very uncooperative,” sources said.
And in East Harlem, a dispute during a dice game between reputed gang members left a 22-year-old man wounded in front of 2065 Third Ave. on June 22 in a courtyard of the Jefferson Houses at 12:15 a.m.
Later that day police arrested Tyquan Samedi, of Anderson Ave. in the Bronx, and charged him with attempted murder.
Authorities say there were at least two other recent shootings that were not directly linked to dice games, but dice were recovered at the crime scenes.
They include a shooting on June 24 in East Harlem, where four people were hit at the Twenty Stars deli on East 132nd Street near Madison Avenue around 3:30 p.m., and the murder of Keith Jeffries, 42, who was shot several times at the Kingsborough Houses in Brooklyn at around 3:30 a.m. last weekend.
Sources believe Jeffries may have owed money to two men who came to collect. He was gunned down when he allegedly “brushed them off” and refused to pay, sources say.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential, police say.