Last Updated: 11:07 AM, July 8, 2012
Posted: 12:50 AM, July 8, 2012
New York City’s homicide rate is rising as fast as its sweltering temperatures.
There have been a staggering 16 murders in the past five days — including seven since Friday night. They have claimed a variety of victims, including children, clubgoers, a shopkeeper and a husband.
While murders are still on pace for a record low, at 193 so far this year, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Queens) called the situation a “brewing cauldron of trouble.”
“People are legitimately alarmed for what the future holds,” Vallone, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, said, noting the NYPD’s dwindling force.
There have been 672 shootings this year as of July 1, compared with 606 at the same day last year — a 10.9 percent spike.
Between noon Friday and noon yesterday, authorities responded to at least 18 shootings.
The spate of murders that kicked off the steamy weekend included:
HAIL OF BULLETS
Thugs armed with an AK-47 settled a nightclub beef by following their victims to a quiet Queens street and spraying their SUV with 63 bullets early yesterday — killing three and wounding another, law-enforcement sources said.
“Their heads were practically blown clean off. Exposed brain and everything,” one neighbor said of the horrifying scene.
“I saw two dead guys in the car and one dead guy on the ground.
“The Jeep was blood-soaked. It was sickening,” said the witness, who identified himself as Jude.
The victims were at the Albany Manor club in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, when they got into an argument with another party, law-enforcement sources said.
The assailants tailed them for nearly 11 miles to Springfield Gardens, where they stopped to drop off one member of the group at his girlfriend’s house.
As the victims double-parked outside 185-4 144th Ave. at around 5 a.m., the gunman opened fire.
Jojo Longchamp, a 15-year-old boy visiting his aunt on the block, said he heard gunfire and a voice scream, “Who’s next?”
“I was sleeping, and I jumped out of bed because I heard gunshots. It sounded like a lot of explosions,” Jojo said.
“They sounded almost like firecrackers. These guys were crazy. I was afraid to come outside.”
Jude said a glass window on his front door had been shattered in the fusillade.
“What if I was coming outside at that time? I could have gotten killed!”
He added that cops took two guns from the victims’ car.
Relatives identified two of three dead men as Jason Wood, 27, and James Bussereth, 33, the driver of the SUV.
Jason Wood’s father, Lenworth, 49, described receiving the phone call no parent wants to receive.
“Early this morning, the cops called and said that something may have happened to my son,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned, he’s a good kid to me.”
SON BEATEN TO DEATH
A Brooklyn mom who has a lengthy rap sheet and suffers from cancer and HIV beat her 7-year-old son to death, neighbors and law-enforcement sources said yesterday.
Tenika Ravell’s arrests included solicitation and loitering.
She allegedly called cops late Friday night and admitted killing her boy, Bernard, whom neighbors called “Little B.”
Neighbor Victoria Green said Ravel could be loopy, but always seemed to love her son.
“That is crazy,” Green said. “She and her son were tight. It was always her and her son. She brought him a skateboard, a bike. She took him to the beach. She took him everywhere.”
Ravell was charged with murder, manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.
“We were just in the park yesterday playing. She loves her son dearly,” said Ravell’s cousin, Kay Jefferson, 38.
“She is an excellent mom. This doesn’t make sense. If I was here it wouldn’t have happened. She must have snapped.”
SLAIN IN HIS STORE
A beloved Brooklyn clothier was fatally gunned down in his store just before closing, authorities said yesterday, devastating family members of the beloved merchant.
Mohamed Gebeli, 65, was found dead — shot in the neck — in his Valentino Fashion shop at 7718 Fifth Ave. in Bay Ridge at 11 p.m. Friday, cops said.
A passer-by saw the lights on in the store after closing time and called police.
Investigators were not immediately able to pinpoint a motive for the slaying. Money was found in the cash register and on Gebeli, police sources said.
“My dad was the best man in the world,” son Mourad Gebeli said. “There’s no one like him.”
Mohamed’s wife, Hanza, said her husband usually closed at 7:30 p.m. and was home by 7:40.
As time passed Friday night without him returning, she assumed Gebeli was out at a cafe, relaxing with friends.
“They [police] wouldn’t let us in the store. We don’t know what happened,” she wailed, before becoming too distraught to speak.
Zafer Tawil, a 35-year-old musician, bought a black suit for $149 from Gebeli Thursday and was supposed to pick it up Friday to wear at a wedding yesterday.
But Tawil got too busy Friday and he never made it in — a twist of fate that might have saved him from strolling into a bloodbath.
“Thank God I didn’t come, this is terrible!” said Tawil, a groomsman at a pal’s wedding in downtown Brooklyn yesterday.
“He was very, very nice to me.”
Family friend Sabah Safi, 47, said Gebeli always wanted to please customers and cut them the best deal possible.
“He was a very good guy, doesn’t bother anyone,” she said. “It’s a very good family. He always gave people a good price.”