Photo courtesy of NYPD
This man, identified by prosecutors as Dylan Cruz, is shown on security camera footage shooting at two people inside Rico Chimi restaurant in Woodhaven on Feb. 20, 2016.

An alleged gang-banger who shot two people at a Woodhaven sandwich shop more than a year ago was among nine individuals arrested in a street gang takedown in Brooklyn on Tuesday, prosecutors announced.

Law enforcement sources said Dylan Cruz (aka Banga), 25, of Queens is a member of the “Loot Gang,” a street gang based in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. Gang members were named in a 69-count indictment on charges of conspiracy to commit murder, murder, attempted murder, weapons possession and other charges, according to acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

Prosecutors said Cruz allegedly walked into the Rico Chimi restaurant at 80-01 Atlantic Ave. in Woodhaven at 12:25 a.m. on the morning of Feb. 20, 2016, and took aim at an alleged rival gang member. Cruz allegedly was carrying out a plot that he and his associates concocted in Brooklyn.

Once inside the restaurant, authorities said, Cruz — who was dressed in all black clothing and wore a red bandana across his face — shot the alleged gang rival, who then grabbed a 33-year-old female patron and used her as a human shield. Cruz shot the rival five times, hitting him in the legs and groin, while the woman suffered three gunshot wounds to her left leg.

Cruz then entered a vehicle operated by an associate — Quincy Vital, 19, also of Queens — that fled the scene.

Officers from the 102nd Precinct responded to the incident; both the gang rival and the female shooting victim survived their injuries.

Gonzalez noted that Vital was additionally charged in the indictment for the fatal shooting of Terrell Henry, 22, at a Bushwick intersection on the morning of Aug. 12, 2016. Henry, who had no gang affiliation, was shot twice outside a bodega after leaving a nearby house party to get an iced tea.

In all, Gonzalez and Police Commissioner James O’Neill said, the Loot Gang were charged in connection with 10 incidents, including the Woohdaven shooting, that occurred between November 2015 and August 2016. Fourteen people were shot during the spate of violence; most of the victims turned out to be rival gang members operating in Brooklyn.

“Our targeted approach to enhancing public safety focuses on the shooters and gang leaders who drive the violence,” Gonzalez said on Aug. 22. “We simply will not tolerate such lawlessness and bloodshed in our communities, which put hardworking residents at risk.”

Cruz, Vital and the other seven indicted gang members face up to 25 years behind bars if convicted.


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