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Teens Asked, ‘You In a Gang?’ Then Shot And Stabbed

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Two teenagers celebrating Cinco de Mayo on McDonald Avenue last week were shot and stabbed after a group of thugs approached, asking if they were “in a gang.” Officials said that when the two victims said no, one of the suspects pulled a knife. The other pulled a gun, shooting one of the victims in the back of the knee, officials said. As of this writing, two of four suspects had been taken into custody. Investigators were reportedly seeking two others in the May 5 attack. The two victims, ages 12 and 16, told police that they were celebrating just after 1 p.m. on McDonald Avenue between Avenues S and T in Gravesend, when a handful of teenagers approached him. When the victims said that they weren’t in a gang, the suspects lunged at them in a violent attack, officials said. Police said that the 12-year-old victim was stabbed in the back, arm and shoulder. As the 16-year-old victim struggled with the bruisers, a suspect stabbed the victim in the back. Another culprit pulled a gun and fired one shot, striking the victim in the back of the knee, officials said. Both victims were taken to Lutheran Medical Center where doctors listed them in stable condition. Both were released following treatment, officials said. Responding officers from the 61st Precinct arrested four suspects, two of whom were released after questioning. The two remaining suspects were identified as 16-year-old Marcos Hernandez of 710 Beverly Road and 20-year-old Eder Calixto of 276 East 2nd Street. Both men were arraigned on charges of assault and criminal possession of a weapon late last week, officials said. Police sources allege that Calixto gave Hernandez the knife the 16-year-old used to attack his two victims. Officials said that the gunman in this case is still being sought by authorities. Anyone with information regarding the gunman’s whereabouts is urged to contact the 61st Precinct at (718) 627-6611. All calls will be kept confidential. Holocaust survivors gathered at the Holocaust Memorial Park alongside family and friends at Shore Boulevard and Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay for Yom-Hashoa, to remember the six million Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis during World War II. “Today, 60 years later, we gather together to remember, to pray and to light candles for those who perished and those who carry the memory with them forever,” said Assemblymember Helene Weinstein said. “Today, we look back so we can look ahead, and we promise to never, ever forget.” Weinstein was one of a line of politicians, survivors, rabbis and advocates who gathered at the memorial at the park that was opened in June 1985, Six candles were lit and, for the first time in two years, Holocaust Memorial Committee members read names that have been inscribed on 13 granite stones this year that rest in the park, giving identity to those who were tattooed with a number and denied their identity by the Nazis. Rabbi Asher Vale reminded congregants that the Holocaust was one atrocious event in a pattern of persecution over thousands of years, since the Jews were cast out from Egypt. But for Jewish émigrés, America has allowed Jews to live in freedom since Allied troops liberated prisoners from concentration camps 60 years ago. “We can now live in America, where we can live in liberty,” Vale said. Ari Kagan, executive director of the United Association of East Coast Jewry, whose grandmother and two children died in Minsk and whose grandfather died in 1945, reminded the congregation that the threat of persecution is not over. Jews need to be vigilant to prevent another Holocaust, he said. “Some people, even in America, cannot recognize that fact,” he said. “The whole truth will not be known until more articles are written about the Holocaust and more memorials are built,” he said. “There is still a lot of work that should be done and will be done,” said Kagan. “Please never forget.” State Senator Carl Kruger said that Jews continue to live with anti-Semitism, being forced to see swastikas on buildings, in elevators and on the streets. “As we take a moment to remember all that was torn from us,” Kruger said, “always retain in our minds that hate is something that we live with here.” Council Speaker Gifford Miller, a mayoral candidate, joined the memorial via a cell phone, and reminded congregants that being pro-Israel is being part of the fight against persecution. ”Some people say we [the City Council] are too pro-Israel but I wear that badge with honor,” he said. Councilmember Mike Nelson spoke of the Jewish faith having “the enduring values that are as beautiful as they were hundreds of years ago.” Etching the stones with the names of the victims would help deny the Nazis their goal of dehumanizing Jewish suffering, Ira Bilus said. “Every single victim had a name, a first name that was given to them by their parents and a last name,” Bilus said.

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