New York

NYC man killed in drive-by shooting in East Flatbush

A hardworking fast food employee taking a rare night off to nurse an injured foot and visit his sister was gunned down in Brooklyn’s Little Haiti neighborhood in a drive-by shooting that has left family and friends mourning and baffled.

Ricardo Gustave, 28, a father of two, who worked in the kitchen at the Popeyes on Nostrand Ave. in Flatbush died Friday night after being shot four times in the neck by a gunman riding in the passenger seat of a black Jeep and sprayed the sidewalk with bullets at Newkirk Ave. and East 34th St. about 9:20 p.m., police said.

“He’s a nice man and never had any problems with nobody,” the slain man’s father Williams Gustave, 58, said. “He was always focused on his job.”

Family and friends gathered outside the apartment Saturday where the shooting took place trying to make sense of the killing.

A pool of dried blood stained the sidewalk by a tree where the younger Gustave, who just celebrated his birthday on Aug. 6, was murdered. Broken glass littered the ground below a window in his sister’s building that had been shattered in the shooting.

His father, whose native Creole was translated to English by family, said Ricardo was at the Newkirk Ave. building to visit family and was hanging out with four or five other friends.

The Gustave family believes that he was killed in a case of mistaken identity. Police have not said if he was targeted or shared a potential motive.

“The car passed by and they shot at him and then they told him to stand up and then they shot him in the neck,” his father, adding that the gunman missed his first shot.

His son had no enemies that he knew of, his dad said. He had been working since the family moved from the historic town of Cap-Haïtien, Haiti in 2009.

Steve Guerrier, 30, an Uber driver who was among the group when the shooting started, described the pandemonium.

“A car passed and just started firing. I didn’t get to see their faces, I just started to run,” he said. “It was five of us hanging out and just talking. I heard like five or eight shots.”

Guerrier that he couldn’t tell if the men were gunning for Gustave.

“I’m not sure if he was targeted, I’m not sure if they were pointing at him or was looking for someone else. I just heard the shots and ran,” he said. “I don’t feel like anyone would’ve been targeted.”

He described his friend as a family man who avoided trouble.

“He was a nice guy, great father,” he said. Gustave had a young son and daughter.

Gustave wasn’t supposed to be on Newkirk Ave. Friday night, he was scheduled to work at Popeyes.

Jean Millen, a family friend who was also among the group of men standing around when the shooting started said that he doubted Gustave was the target.

“I think it’s a mistake, I don’t think they meant to come for him. It was five of [us] there so maybe one of them had a beef with someone but who knows,” he said. “He was supposed to be working that night but he called out, he said his feet were hurting.”

Williams Gustave said that his son graduated high school, but decided not to go to college. He had worked in a factory and was a driver for UPS, his father said.

“He didn’t mind any kind of job, he liked to work and he wasn’t going to be involved in anything like being a thief. He just worked,” he said.

At the Nostrand Ave. Popeyes, where Gustave had worked for the last five years, manager Paiyo Muhammad said he was stunned by the news that such a gregarious and hard-working employee would be the focus of such hatred.

“I was confused because He’s not a fighting person, he was very nice with everyone but outside we don’t know,” Muhammad said. “He was respectful to me and overall very respectful person to everyone.”

The family is equally as befuddled by the loss.

“It’s a hard thing for me, my son didn’t deserve that. He’s not supposed to be dead. It’s injustice,” his father said.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button