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Early days of spring bring violence to Queens & New York City

By Eric Jankiewicz

The first spring days of the year arrived last week with a bang as a string of shootings erupted around the borough, but the deadliest toll was reserved for three fatal stabbings.

Three people were stabbed to death in Queens between April 16 and April 19, while another man was shot in the stomach April 17 while playing basketball in Springfield Gardens. The violent weekend in Queens was reflected throughout the city and overall six people were murdered. There were 21 shootings across the city that left 23 people wounded between Friday and Sunday, police said.

Police generally attribute the increase in violence to warmer weather. During the winter, violent crimes were down, according to the NYPD. But with the weather warming up, police are preparing for Summer All Out, an operation that begins in June when high crime precincts are boosted with extra police.

The first homicide took place April 17 near Queensborough Community College at about 4: 20 p.m. when a 911 call alerted police to a 40-year-old homeless man stabbed in front of 16-29 230 th St. The victim, identified as Dshawn Rogers, was stabbed in the torso and pronounced dead when he arrived at Jamaica Hospital. Police have made no arrests and the investigation was ongoing.

Last Friday a 25-year-old man, identified as James Hanrahan, was found dead inside a parked vehicle outside 64-01 77 th St, just a few houses down from where he lived. The medical examiner is still determining the cause of death.

On Sunday at 4:25 a.m. police discovered a 39-year-old man who had been stabbed in the chest and right thigh. Identified as Otto Emilio Ajpacaja, he was taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

That same Sunday at about 2:30 p.m. in the afternoon police were called to an apartment building in Richmond Hill on 114th Street, where a 50-year-old stepfather had been stabbed to death allegedly by his son after a dispute over washing the dishes, the Queens DA said. Nickel McLean, a 19-year-old was arrested at the scene and charged with two counts of murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

With the thermometer climbing up to the mid-60s April 17, a a 32-year-old man was playing basketball on 171-05 137th Ave. when he a bullet was fired into his stomach, according to police. He walked into Jamaica Hospital and was in stable condition, police said. Police were investigating the crime and had not released his identity.

Reach reporter Eric Jankiewicz by e-mail at ejankiewicz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

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