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COPS SHOOT
Sean Bell
2 pals injured in
50-bullet barrage
SutphinBlvd.
VanWyckExpwy.
VanWyckExpwy.
LiverpoolSt.
95th Ave.
94th Ave.Archer Ave.
AREA
OF
DETAIL
QUEENS
Shooting victim Trent
Benefield lies cuffed on
the ground after police
shot him early yesterday.
Shooting scene took place
down the block from the club
on Liverpool St.
ANGEL CHEVRESTT
CITYWIDE NEWS NETWORK
Kalua Cabaret was where police
first noticed the three men.
‘Our hearts go
out to [Bell’s
family].’
Commissioner Kelly
ANTHONY DELMUNDO
VIC NICASTRO
Joseph
Guzman (here
with his son)
was also shot
yesterday.
COPS BLASTED 50 BULLETS at three unarmed
men near a Queens strip club early yesterday, killing
a groom hours before his wedding, wounding two of
his pals and spurring outraged relatives of the vic-
tims to call the shooting unjustified.
“Today was his wedding day
— not his death day,” said Oniaja
Shepherd, 43, whose nephew,
23-year-old Sean Bell was slain
by police gunfire. “We were sup-
posed to go to a wedding. Now
we’re going to a funeral.”
An undercover detective, three
plainclothes detectives and a po-
lice officer in civilian clothes hit
Bell’s car with 21 rounds about 4
a.m. after the Queens man twice
rammed his vehicle into an un-
marked NYPD van, police said.
One cop fired 31 times, paus-
ing to reload, sources said.
Bell, a former high school base-
ball phenom who had been cele-
brating his bachelor party at the
strip club, was fatally hit by two
shots to the neck and arm. Two
of his friends in the car were
rushed to a nearby hos-
pital with bullet
wounds, police said.
Cops said there may
have been a fourth per-
son in the vehicle who
fled.
No weapons were
found on Bell or his
friends, and no guns
were found in their bul-
let-riddled car near the
Kalua Cabaret in Jamai-
ca, police said.
“Our hearts go out to
them,” Police Commissioner Ray-
mond Kelly said of Bell’s family.
Bell’s 22-year-old fiancée was
at a bridal shower on Long Is-
land when the dad of her two
kids was killed. Puffy-eyed,
Nicole Paultre arrived at the
scene of the shooting yesterday
morning. “I am the intended
bride,” she said before collaps-
ing.
Bell was at the strip club with
about 20 friends, police sources
said. Two undercover cops, look-
ing to make prostitution arrests,
were also inside.
About 3 a.m., one of the under-
cover cops heard a bouncer sug-
gest to a dancer that he had a
gun, and the cops went outside
to warn plainclothes officers in a
nearby van, the sources said.
An hour later, a fight erupted
outside the club. Bell, Joseph
Guzman and Trent Benefield
were allegedly among eight men
yelling at another man, Kelly
said.
One of the undercover cops
heard Bell shout, “Let’s f--- him
up,” and Guzman say, “Yo — go
get my gun,” Kelly said.
“It’s getting hot on Liverpool,
for real. I think there’s a gun,” an
undercover warned his lieuten-
ant, Kelly said.
One undercover stayed at the
club and the other followed the
men as they got into Bell’s car on
Liverpool St. Bell drove forward,
brushing that officer before slam-
ming into the unmarked police
van as it rounded the corner,
Kelly said. The undercover offic-
er then identified himself as a
cop and fired the first round,
sources said.
Bell threw the car into reverse
and slammed into a
building, then drove for-
ward into the van
again. Plainclothes
cops poured from the
van. Five officers at the
scene began shooting.
Kelly said the investi-
gation was ongoing. He
stopped short of judg-
ing the actions of the of-
ficers involved. In 2004,
he had quickly charac-
terized the shooting of
19-year-old Timothy
Stansbury by a Brooklyn cop as
unjustified.
Although NYPD sources said
the undercover cop at yester-
day’s incident had identified him-
self as an officer before police
fired, Kelly said no witnesses
had confirmed that account and
brass had not interviewed the
cops, pending a grand jury
probe.
“It’s not a ‘good shoot,’ ” one
veteran investigator said. “It’s a
big mess.”
Mayor Bloomberg issued a
statement last night.
“Although it is too early to
draw conclusions about this
morning’s shootings in Jamaica,
Queens, we know that the NYPD
officers on the scene had reason
to believe that an altercation in-
volving a firearm was about to
happen and were trying to stop
it,” Bloomberg said.
He said he had been “in touch
with community leaders”
throughout the day, and a mayor-
al spokesman said the leaders in-
cluded the Rev. Al Sharpton.
(Continued on Page 6)
BY VERONIKA BELENKAYA,
ALISON GENDAR,
MIKE JACCARINO
and ROBERT F. MOORE
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
WEDDING DAY HORROR
Sunday,November26,2006DAILYNEWSnydailynews.commIII4

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seanbellfirstday

  • 1. COPS SHOOT Sean Bell 2 pals injured in 50-bullet barrage SutphinBlvd. VanWyckExpwy. VanWyckExpwy. LiverpoolSt. 95th Ave. 94th Ave.Archer Ave. AREA OF DETAIL QUEENS Shooting victim Trent Benefield lies cuffed on the ground after police shot him early yesterday. Shooting scene took place down the block from the club on Liverpool St. ANGEL CHEVRESTT CITYWIDE NEWS NETWORK Kalua Cabaret was where police first noticed the three men. ‘Our hearts go out to [Bell’s family].’ Commissioner Kelly ANTHONY DELMUNDO VIC NICASTRO Joseph Guzman (here with his son) was also shot yesterday. COPS BLASTED 50 BULLETS at three unarmed men near a Queens strip club early yesterday, killing a groom hours before his wedding, wounding two of his pals and spurring outraged relatives of the vic- tims to call the shooting unjustified. “Today was his wedding day — not his death day,” said Oniaja Shepherd, 43, whose nephew, 23-year-old Sean Bell was slain by police gunfire. “We were sup- posed to go to a wedding. Now we’re going to a funeral.” An undercover detective, three plainclothes detectives and a po- lice officer in civilian clothes hit Bell’s car with 21 rounds about 4 a.m. after the Queens man twice rammed his vehicle into an un- marked NYPD van, police said. One cop fired 31 times, paus- ing to reload, sources said. Bell, a former high school base- ball phenom who had been cele- brating his bachelor party at the strip club, was fatally hit by two shots to the neck and arm. Two of his friends in the car were rushed to a nearby hos- pital with bullet wounds, police said. Cops said there may have been a fourth per- son in the vehicle who fled. No weapons were found on Bell or his friends, and no guns were found in their bul- let-riddled car near the Kalua Cabaret in Jamai- ca, police said. “Our hearts go out to them,” Police Commissioner Ray- mond Kelly said of Bell’s family. Bell’s 22-year-old fiancée was at a bridal shower on Long Is- land when the dad of her two kids was killed. Puffy-eyed, Nicole Paultre arrived at the scene of the shooting yesterday morning. “I am the intended bride,” she said before collaps- ing. Bell was at the strip club with about 20 friends, police sources said. Two undercover cops, look- ing to make prostitution arrests, were also inside. About 3 a.m., one of the under- cover cops heard a bouncer sug- gest to a dancer that he had a gun, and the cops went outside to warn plainclothes officers in a nearby van, the sources said. An hour later, a fight erupted outside the club. Bell, Joseph Guzman and Trent Benefield were allegedly among eight men yelling at another man, Kelly said. One of the undercover cops heard Bell shout, “Let’s f--- him up,” and Guzman say, “Yo — go get my gun,” Kelly said. “It’s getting hot on Liverpool, for real. I think there’s a gun,” an undercover warned his lieuten- ant, Kelly said. One undercover stayed at the club and the other followed the men as they got into Bell’s car on Liverpool St. Bell drove forward, brushing that officer before slam- ming into the unmarked police van as it rounded the corner, Kelly said. The undercover offic- er then identified himself as a cop and fired the first round, sources said. Bell threw the car into reverse and slammed into a building, then drove for- ward into the van again. Plainclothes cops poured from the van. Five officers at the scene began shooting. Kelly said the investi- gation was ongoing. He stopped short of judg- ing the actions of the of- ficers involved. In 2004, he had quickly charac- terized the shooting of 19-year-old Timothy Stansbury by a Brooklyn cop as unjustified. Although NYPD sources said the undercover cop at yester- day’s incident had identified him- self as an officer before police fired, Kelly said no witnesses had confirmed that account and brass had not interviewed the cops, pending a grand jury probe. “It’s not a ‘good shoot,’ ” one veteran investigator said. “It’s a big mess.” Mayor Bloomberg issued a statement last night. “Although it is too early to draw conclusions about this morning’s shootings in Jamaica, Queens, we know that the NYPD officers on the scene had reason to believe that an altercation in- volving a firearm was about to happen and were trying to stop it,” Bloomberg said. He said he had been “in touch with community leaders” throughout the day, and a mayor- al spokesman said the leaders in- cluded the Rev. Al Sharpton. (Continued on Page 6) BY VERONIKA BELENKAYA, ALISON GENDAR, MIKE JACCARINO and ROBERT F. MOORE DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS WEDDING DAY HORROR Sunday,November26,2006DAILYNEWSnydailynews.commIII4