Bell shooting rocked borough

By Craig Giammona

Bell was killed in a hail of 50 police bullets on his wedding day outside Kalua Cabaret on 94th Avenue in Jamaica. Bell had been celebrating at his bachelor party with two friends, who also were shot in the early hours of Nov. 25.The story was covered extensively by the national media, with Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson traveling to Jamaica for press conferences.It was the second time this year that the national media made the trek to Jamaica. In March, South Jamaica bouncer Darryl Littlejohn was tied to the murder of John Jay graduate student Imette St. Guillen. Littlejohn was eventually charged with raping and murdering St. Guillen, who disappeared after a night with friends in Manhattan and was found dead the next day in a desolate area of Brooklyn.Littlejohn, who had a lengthy criminal record that includes felony gun and drug convictions, worked as a bouncer at the bar where St. Guillen was last seen.St. Guillen's body was found bound, beaten and raped Feb. 25. Just over a week later on March 6, police spent several hours searching Littlejohn's home on 121st Avenue. He was eventually indicted on rape and charges in Brooklyn Supreme Court March 23. Littlejohn also faces charges that he kidnapped and assaulted a York College student in October.Both cases are now working their way through the court system.As 2006 passed into 2007, emotions were still raw in southeast Queens over the police shooting of Sean Bell, with many area residents and community leaders questioning why police would fire 50 shots at three unarmed men.The political establishment in southeast Queens has not joined the chorus calling for DA Brown to be replaced by a special prosecutor, but it is clear that most people in the area believe that charges should be brought against at least some of the officers involved.Brown is investigating the case and will ultimately have to decide whether to empanel a grand jury that then seeks to indict the officers. Five officers fired their guns Nov. 25, with one detective shooting 31 times. A team of undercover officers was working at the Kalua the night of the shooting in an attempt to close the club down.Reach reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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