New York Police Discover Suspect Vehicle Possibly Linked to Brooklyn Paintball Attacks Against Jews
by Shiryn Ghermezian
New York police said they have identified a vehicle they believe to be linked to a string of recent Staten Island paintball gun attacks, which are under investigation in connection to similar incidents targeting Jews in Brooklyn.
The authorities said they are looking for a dark-colored GMC Terrain following five separate paintball shootings recorded since the beginning of July, the New York Post reported on Tuesday. The latest attacks took place over the weekend and were all orchestrated by assailants who fired from vehicles.
One of the victims, an Orthodox Jew named Abraham Revivo, 67, said his right shoulder is still in pain from an attack on Friday night.
“I hope they catch this guy,” said Revivo. “It’s very scary.”
Revivo, a retired carpenter from France, was walking with his family to his daughter’s house after Shabbat dinner when he was struck by a paintball.
“We saw the car coming, but you don’t think anything. It’s like any other car,” Revivo said. “All of a sudden, we hear a shot. They missed my son and they missed my wife, but I got hit in the right shoulder, the same shoulder I had rotator cuff surgery on.”
Police sources said that all the Staten Island paintball attacks could have involved the same SUV and that Revivo was the only Jewish victim, the New York Post reported.
Revivo said he was wearing his yarmulke at the time of the attack, but wasn’t sure the attack was anti-Jewish. “This neighborhood is Jewish, but is that the reason?” he asked, “We won’t know that until they catch the person.”
The Staten Island attacks come after a string of paintball shootings targeting Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn which began in March. Both the incidents in Brooklyn and those in Staten Island are now being investigated as possible hate crimes by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.
Another victim, Renee Mafaro, 45, was hit in the leg by a yellow paintball at about 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night. She said she was walking her brother’s dog near her home in Staten Island when she saw an SUV drive by with “about four young boys” inside.
“I quickly made a right and they followed and aimed the gun right at the dog,” she told the New York Post. “I pulled it by its leash towards me because it would have been killed since it weighs four pounds.”
The attackers shot six paintballs, she said, hitting her once. She noted that she now has a “big blue welt” on her leg.
At 11 p.m. on Saturday, the same SUV was used in a paintball attack against a 67-year-old woman, the New York Post said. A 41-year-old man was also shot the same day while riding his bike, and two girls, aged 16 and 17, were hit with paintballs at 11:40 p.m.
Reached by The Algemeiner on Wednesday police declined to comment on the ongoing investigation into the Staten Island shootings.