May 12, 2016

Catholic Priest Shot in Bronx Trying To Persuade Young Street Dealer To Change His Lifestyle

Father Damien Ekete

[From article]
A Catholic priest tried to talk some sense into a man involved in a street-corner drug deal yesterday in Queens — and ended up with a bullet for his efforts.
Father Damien Ekete was waiting for a cab outside the Habibi Gourmet Deli on Rockaway Boulevard in Jamaica at around 12:15 a.m. when he noticed a few men acting suspiciously nearby, law-enforcement sources said. Cops say a drug deal appeared to be going down.
Ekete — who was on his way back to his Bronx rectory after attending a party in the Queens neighborhood — walked over to one of the men and began talking to him about his dangerous lifestyle, sources said.
Suddenly, a green Nissan Altima pulled up, and someone inside fired off a round at the man top whom Ekete was talking.
But the shooter missed his intended target and instead hit the priest in his right biceps, sources said.
[. . .]
Ekete, a 49-year-old Nigerian native who has worked at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Morris Heights, The Bronx, for five years, walked 10 minutes to the St. Clement Pope Church on 123rd
Avenue, according to a nearby church employee who spoke to police about the incident.
But nobody was at St. Clement, so the priest walked back to a gas station on Rockaway Boulevard for help.
He was taken to Jamaica Hospital for treatment and then discharged around noon dressed in black suit pants and a blue short-sleeved hospital shirt that showed his bandaged right arm. He was flanked by two plainclothes cops.
After Ekete was interviewed at the 106th Precinct, police dropped him off at his Bronx church. He remained in the rectory for the rest of the evening.
During Mass there Sunday, the Rev. Ricardo Fajardo informed the congregation about the incident in his sermon.

Priest shot while trying to ‘do some good’
By Larry Celona and Tina Moore
New York Post
May 8, 2016 | 9:27am

No comments: