The gunman who opened fire outside of Brooklyn’s famed Peter Luger Steakhouse during a family feud Thursday night has been charged with two counts of attempted murder.
Arkies Sommerville, 24, walked out of the restaurant after fighting with one of the 11 people at his table and allegedly opened fire from the sidewalk, hitting two innocent diners in the cross fire, the NYPD said.
He was arrested a few blocks away from the steakhouse on Bedford Avenue and S. 10 Street and was in the hospital Friday morning for an ‘unknown reason,’ according to the NYPD, which delayed the formal charges.
This is the scene the morning after a shooter opened firing outside of Brooklyn’s popular Peter Luger Steakhouse, hitting two innocent diners in the cross fire
The scene outside Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn is a lot quieter Friday morning following Thursday night’s shooting created a chaotic scene
Police tape is pictured outside the famed Peter Luger Steakhouse in Brooklyn
Thursday’s shooting saw two innocent bystanders injured, when a family feud spilled over at the Williamsburg restaurant, which opened in 1887.
The gunfire broke out at about 9:45pm – before the rowing family members had even eaten their food, The New York Post reported.
Two diners at a table of 11 got into a heated argument, and one of them, later identified as Sommerville, allegedly pulled a gun and started firing.
Instead of hitting his target, two men eating outside were hit – a 30-year-old struck in the shoulder and a 57-year-old hit in the stomach.
Both men were taken to Bellevue Hospital, where they were expected to survive, the paper reported.
With servers and customers ducking for cover, someone inside the steakhouse called 911, and police officers monitoring a nearby anti-police demonstration responded in seconds.
The gunman was arrested with the help of his cousin, who identified him.
The gun was recovered from a garbage can around the block, on South 10th Street, police said.
Sommerville was also charged with two counts of criminal use of a firearm and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.
Police are seen outside the restaurant following the shooting in Brooklyn on Thursday
Thursday’s shooting outside the upscale Brooklyn restaurant comes amid a surge in gun violence in New York City following the bloodiest week so far this year, with 50 people shot across the city.
That is a 257 per cent spike from the same time last year, when the pandemic forced New Yorkers into their homes.
Last weekend, 31 people were wounded and six were killed in 28 shootings.
Earlier this month, a concerned Brooklyn mother called Nicole confronted the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, during a radio phone-in about shootings, and asked him: ‘What’s being done?’
The mayor blamed COVID-19 for the crime spike, saying: ‘I think it comes back to this horrible combination of things we saw, you know, people didn’t have jobs, almost a million people lost their jobs, schools were closed, houses of worship were closed. Things really were falling apart.’
De Blasio shifted to the focus to the city’s reopening measures, which he says will cut crime as people return to work.
He also cited his ‘community based solutions to gun violence’ and two anti-gun crime initiatives, called Cure Violence Movement and Crisis Management System.
New York City has seen 257 per cent spike in gun violence from the same time last year
CURE’s website claims it ‘leverages young men of color’ to act as ‘credible messengers of an anti-violence message’ in areas hit hard by gun crime.
Crisis Management System deploys mediators to try and cool down brewing conflicts before they spill into violence, and connect ‘high risk individuals’ to services aimed at stopping them from offending.
De Blasio oversaw in June a $1 billion reduction in New York Police Department’s $6 billion budget, at the height of the ‘defund the police’ protests.
The deal involved moving school safety agents, who are unarmed but wear police uniforms, into the Department of Education; canceling a July class of roughly 1,100 police recruits; and shifting certain homeless outreach operations away from police control.
Critics say it has made the city less safe.
De Blasio has been met with widespread disdain by New York’s officers, and will complete his second and final term as mayor in office in November.