Four suspects have been arrested in connection with a Long Island home invasion robbery that led to a wild police chase, gun play in the streets and lockdowns at area schools.
Police say the chaos began when four men armed with at least one handgun and knives entered a Bellmore home at about 9 a.m. Monday.
One of the people inside that home, Ghulan Sumra, said he was sleeping in the basement when he was awakened by a man who put a knife to his throat.
"Give me money or I'll kill you," Sumra said his assailant ordered.
Sumra said the intruders tied him up with a phone charger and then went upstairs where they accosted his brother, Arshad Sumra, 52, and his wife, Shabnan. Sumra said the family may have been targeted because the intruders believed they had large sums of cash on hand from their nearby beauty salon.
Another member of the family, Haris Sumra, had just returned home from taking his sister to school when he saw a stranger standing in his doorway, Ghulan Sumra said. When the man tried to pull him into the house, he wriggled away and flagged down a neighbor in a car who called 911, Ghulan Sumra said.
When officers arrived shortly thereafter, a chase ensued, during which gunshots were exchanged between police and the suspects. Three of the suspects fled the car in North Bellmore as police pursued them.
The driver of the alleged getaway car, a white Crown Victoria, continued in the car before abandoning it in Wantagh.
One of the suspects was arrested in Babylon Road in Merrick, just two doors down from the Lakeside elementary school.
Lori Belbold heard about the incident and rushed to check on her daughter, a first-grader at the school. Her daughter was fine but the mom said the experience was harrowing.
"You always think of the 'what ifs,'" Belbold said.
Other residents of Babylon Road heard the sirens and came out of their homes thinking there was an accident, but quickly ran back in when they heard gunshots.
"I saw the smoke coming out of his gun and we just ran," said Jaclyn Morrisey, who came out of her Babylon Road home to see what the commotion was.
One of the four suspects taken into custody suffered a gunshot wound to the leg, police said.
Six people were injured and taken to the hospital, including two of the suspects, a police officer who injured an ankle giving chase and three people who were in the home when the invasion took place.
Nassau University Medical Center spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said the six patients were being evaluated to determine if they should be admitted.