A wild scene erupted outside a party in Queens overnight where bullets flew across a neighborhood street between a group of suspects, partygoers and police who were stationed nearby the house at the center of the commotion.
The NYPD said a team of plainclothes officers were observing the residential block in an unmarked car when four suspects arrived and began opening fire in the direction of the house party, where investigators estimate 75 to 100 people were in attendance.
An unknown number of people at the Laurelton party returned fire moments before the officers exited their vehicle and engaged the suspects, firing a total of 14 shots, according to NYPD officials.
"Earlier this evening, about 11:35 p.m., members of our Violent Crime Squad were in the vicinity," Chief of Patrol Jeff Maddrey said. "They were observing a party in the area and they were observing this party because they believed that there was potential to be violence involving some of the local street crews."
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Four people, ages 16, 17, 18 and 24, were being treated for gunshot wounds at local hospitals early Saturday morning. One of the people shot was said to be in critical condition.
NYPD officials said the four people shot are also in custody, with criminal charges pending. Three firearms had been recovered overnight, but investigators were still searching for other weapons possibly involved and any additional suspects.
The plainclothes officers had been positioned near the party after receiving tips that gang members might be involved, but hours later NYPD officials would not directly tie the overnight gun violence to gangs.
Investigators Saturday morning were unclear if any innocent bystanders were injured in the shootout.
Surveillance video obtained by News 4 shows dozens of people climbing the fence of a neighbor's house in an attempt to escape the gun violence.
"I ran to the bathroom and looked through the back window and the kids were screaming, they're jumping over the fence into my backyard," one neighbor said. "So there's blood on my fence in the side yard and it was just total chaos."