Ravenswood man shot in liquor store dies

Police tape surrounds the liquor store. Photo by Christina Santucci
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A Ravenswood man was shot multiple times at a nearby liquor store Saturday night and later died at the hospital, police said.

After responding to a 911 call at 7:15 p.m., NYPD officers found Skaka Ryan, 37, inside the Solomon Z Liquor Store at 24-04 34th Ave. with bullet wounds in his torso and left leg, authorities said. The EMS workers who arrived on scene took Ryan to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital in Astoria, where he was later pronounced dead, police said.

The NYPD said Sunday afternoon that there had been no arrests and that the investigation was ongoing.

The liquor store is located at the intersection of the Queensview Co-Op and the Ravenswood Houses projects, where Ryan lived on 36th Avenue. Some area residents said they heard the shots.

“At first I thought they were firecrackers because they weren’t really loud,” said resident April Hatcher. She said she had been getting dressed in her home and ready to leave when she heard four or five shots.

Hatcher said that she found the incident sad and shocking.

“I’m not surprised to see the cops are here, because they’re always here, but as far as violence, yes,” she said.

Chris Fotiou, who lives in the co-ops, said he had not been sure that the loud noises were shots when he was in his apartment, but realized what happened when he saw the blue police tape and cop cars in front of the liquor store.

“You have your housing projects, you have your crime element,” he said of the incident.

Last year 32-year-old Guimmia Villia was shot inside a pharmacy near the 34th Avenue and 24th Street intersection, two doors down from Saturday night’s shooting. The suspected shooter, Alex Figueroa, later shot and killed himself.

Both Fotiou and a Ravenswood resident who gave his name as Eric mentioned Villia’s murder when talking about Ryan’s death.

Eric said while he thought the area had gotten worse in the 36 years he lived there and that he had seen more gang activity, he did not consider the neighborhood especially violent.

“Usually when the ambulance goes over there [to the intersection] it’s because some drunk guy passes out,” he said. “Wow, it’s crazy, man.”

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Posted 1:46 pm, April 8, 2012
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