05/31/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/31/2023 13:42
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jeffrey Morel was indicted by a grand jury and arraigned for attempted murder in connection with a shooting in Far Rockaway that sent bullets flying into a nearby yeshiva, narrowly missing a student, and parked cars.
District Attorney Katz said: "Queens is not the Wild West. Shootouts on our streets will not be tolerated. Fortunately, no one was injured and this defendant will be held to account."
Morel, 31, of Brookhaven Avenue in Far Rockaway, was arraigned yesterday on an indictment charging him with attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the first degree, two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and criminal mischief in the fourth degree. Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino ordered Morel to return to court on June 27, 2023.
If convicted of the attempted murder charge, Morel faces up to 25 years in prison.
According to the charges:
• Video surveillance footage showed that on May 1, at approximately 6:58 a.m., Morel entered an apartment building at 9-10 Dinsmore Avenue and knocked on a resident's door. He was approached in a hallway by a man who began to argue with him and pointed what looked like a gun at him. Morel was then seen leaving the building and running into the intersection of Dinsmore Avenue and Beach 9th Street near the Talmud Torah Siach Yitzchok school.
• The second man was captured on video leaving the building and entering the intersection where Morel was waiting. Morel pointed a gun at him and fired multiple shots. The second man can be seen pointing what appeared to be a gun at Morel.
• Two bullet holes were later found in a window at the yeshiva. Police found bullet fragments and one fired bullet inside the school as well as a bullet fragment on the ground in front of the school window. A 13-year-old student in a classroom when a bullet entered the building narrowly escaped injury.
• A bullet hole was discovered in the front panel of a Toyota parked nearby and bullet holes were found in the windshield and driver's side door of a Honda.
• Police recovered five .40 caliber shell casings from the ground where Morel was seen on video holding the gun. One .45 caliber shell casing and a bullet fragment were found on the ground where the second man was standing. One fired bullet was also found at the intersection.
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Reilly of the District Attorney's Career Criminal Major Crimes Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Michael Whitney, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Shawn Clark.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven