By Gabriel Rom
A suspect wanted in connection with the shooting of two men at a Ridgewood deli Sunday morning was found dead a short time later, slumped over his steering wheel in an apparent suicide, police said.
At around 1:50 a.m., the suspect entered Mike’s Deli Grocery, located at 20-60 Gates Ave., and shot two of the deli’s employees after getting into a verbal dispute with them, police said.
The two victims, a 23-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, were taken to Elmhurst Hospital. As of Wednesday, they were listed in stable condition, police said.
The 20-year-old worker was shot in the arm, and a 23-year-old bodega employee was grazed across the face by a bullet, police said.
Calling the double-shooting a “heinous crime,” Capt. Mark Wachter of the 104th Precinct, which covers Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village and Maspeth, described the final moments of the suspect’s life at a monthly police community meeting.
About two hours after the double-shooting, police from the 73rd Precinct saw the suspect’s Nissan operating without headlights in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, Wachter said.
As police approached the vehicle, it crashed into another car at which time police heard a gunshot ring out from the car, he said.
The suspect, who was not immediately identified, was found slumped over his steering wheel with a fatal wound to his head, Wachter said.
The captain said the motive for the crime likely had to do with debts owed from the past.
He could not confirm where the suspect was headed after the shooting, but speculated he was looking for a third employee who worked at the deli.
Wachter noted that the suspect’s gun was purchased legally in Michigan, though it was brought across state lines illegally.
Reach reporter Gabriel Rom by e-mail at grom@