By Adam Kramer
Cruz, 31, of 99-10 209th St. in Queens Village and Maurice Townsend, 28, of 166th Street in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, apparently ran into three unidentified men who were entering Taino, an all-night Caribbean restaurant at 849 Prospect Ave. about 3 a.m., said Police Officer George Jensen, a department spokesman.
Police said the two groups got into a heated argument and neither side would back down. One of the three men, whom witnesses described as wearing a red leather jacket and a baseball cap, then pulled out a gun and began firing at Cruz and Townsend, police said.
The two friends ran for cover in the restaurant, followed by the gunman still firing as employees and patrons hit the floor, Newsday reported.
Cruz, mortally wounded in the back and left arm, was declared dead at the scene. Townsend was also shot in the back and died that evening at Lincoln Hospital, police said. Jensen said Maria Mansonet, 73, a customer, was shot in the leg and taken to Lincoln Hospital where she was treated and released.
Jensen said the gunman and his two companions were in their 20s or early 30s. The suspects fled and no arrests had been made as of presstime late Tuesday. The investigation was ongoing.