Darlene Munker had just stepped back into Clark’s Sports Shop, her father’s bait and tackle store, in Brooklyn after taking out the trash Sunday afternoon when she heard at least five gunshots, she said.
They might have been mistaken for firecrackers, she said, except the last one hit a steel pole by the front door with a ping.
“Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow! Pow!” said Munker, 59. “That’s when we came out and seen two Spanish guys limping up the street.”
The men, a 62-year-old and a 33-year-old, were two of the victims in a triple shooting just before 2 p.m. in the 3700 block of South Hanover Street, a few blocks from Patapsco Avenue, police said.
The third victim, a 26-year-old man, arrived at a nearby hospital soon thereafter with multiple gunshot wounds, police said.
Police did not identify the victims or give their conditions, but their wounds were not expected to be life-threatening, police said. No suspect description or motive was released.
Munker quickly helped the two men, who had been shot in the legs, into chairs in front of the store and called 911, she said.
“Did you get shot?” she said she asked them.
“Si, si,” she said one responded.
The shooting left a bullet hole in a crab box outside the front door, and a bullet ricocheted off the shop’s front door, she said.
Her 80-year-old father has owned Clark’s on the block for 45 years, she said. Munker’s brother, Don Clark Jr., said he’s seen the area deteriorate so much that the broad daylight shooting didn’t surprise him in the least.
The drugs have become so prevalent, he said, “it’s like going to WalMart.”
“It’s commonplace,” Clark said. “It’s a damn shame, but that’s what it is.”
Across the street, Charles Hynes, a lifelong Brooklyn resident, watched detectives and crime scene technicians searching the pavement for shell casings and other evidence.
Police sometimes camp out on the street, cooling things down, he said, but once they’re called to other areas, the drug trade springs right back up.
“I watch it, I see it, but what can you do?” the 55-year-old said. “If you intervene, you get your house shot up.”
Donna Cade, 47, another nearby resident, said she’d been talking to her neighbor when she heard the gunshots. She nodded her head as Hynes spoke, and said Brooklyn struggles with a “severe gang infestation.”
“It’s sad when you live in a neighborhood when you can distinguish between fireworks and gunfire," she said. “This has been an ongoing problem for years.”
“I remember the days when, when people had a disagreement, they went out back and duked it out,” Cade added, raising her fists in a mock fighting pose. “Then they shook hands and one of them bought the other one a beer.”
Tia Coates, 37, said she wished for those days, too.
“You could have a nice, pleasant day,” she said. “Now you’ve got to tell your people where you’re going when you go to the store.”
Munker said she felt lucky to have been inside when the shooting happened.
“Someone was looking out for me,” she said.
Citywide shooting detectives are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call 1-866-7LOCKUP.