Two Jamaica men get 50 years to life for fatal 2017 shooting in Richmond Hill: DA

Police investigate a 2017 shooting in Jamaica
Two Jamaica men were sentenced for shooting two brothers, one of them fatally, during a robbery gone bad in Richmond Hill in 2017. (Photo by Robert Stridiron)

Two Jamaica men were sentenced to 50 years to life in prison on April 25 for fatally shooting a visitor from Guyana and wounding the victim’s brother during a botched 2017 robbery in Richmond Hill.

Shakim Allen, 29, of Merrick Avenue, and Dreshaun Smith, 29, of 160th Street, were convicted by a jury in Queens Supreme Court last month of murder in the second degree, attempted murder in the second degree, assault in the first degree, robbery in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and tampering with physical evidence. Allen was additionally convicted of criminal possession of stolen property in the fourth degree, while Smith was additionally convicted of arson in the third degree.

According to the charges, on Jan. 2, 2017, at approximately 3:22 a.m., near the corner of 124th Street and Liberty Avenue, Smith waited inside a two-door Mercedes-Benz while Allen confronted 24-year-old Sonny Kalisaran with a gun, attempting to rob him. The victim’s brother, 31-year-old Rocky Kalisaran of Guyana, who was waiting nearby, saw the confrontation and ran to his brother’s aid. Allen then pursued both men as they ran from him.

Allen caught up to the brothers and wrestled with the older victim over his gun, which discharged, according to the charges. The younger victim yelled for help and slashed Allen several times in the face with a keychain pen knife. At that time, Smith drove up to them, got out of the car with a raised gun, and fired multiple times at the two victims. He struck the younger Kalisaran in the arm and back as he ran and the older victim in the chest, lower torso, and leg. At some point, Allen picked up the younger victim’s cell phone and wallet from the ground, then both defendants got back into the car and drove off.

The FBI Cellular Analysis Survey Team later determined and presented evidence at trial that showed that the defendants fled the scene and drove to Cohen Children’s Hospital in New Hyde Park, where Allen was treated for stab and slash wounds after he discarded Sonny Kalisaran’s phone and wallet in a sewer. Later that day, at approximately 6:45 p.m., the fire department responded to a vehicle fire in a rear parking lot on 186th Street and 104th Avenue in Jamaica. When police arrived, they identified the burnt vehicle to be a Mercedes-Benz coupe registered to Smith’s girlfriend. Video surveillance footage showed Smith purchasing gasoline and setting the car on fire shortly before it was discovered.

Following the robbery, police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park responded to the scene, having received a 911 call about shots fired at the location. Upon their arrival, the officers found the 31-year-old Kalisaran with gunshot wounds to his chest and the 24-year-old man with gunshot wounds to his back. EMS arrived at the crime scene and rushed the brothers to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. The older victim, Rocky Kalisaran, died later that day of his gunshot injuries, becoming the city’s first victim of a fatal shooting in 2017, the charges state.

“One of the two victims was shot trying to rescue his brother from a craven robbery committed by the defendants,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “I hope the rest of the family can find peace in their sentencing.”

Queens Supreme Court Justice Ira Margulis sentenced Allen and Smith to 50 years to life in prison.