May. 12, 2023 By Bill Parry
A Far Rockaway man on May 11 was criminally charged with attempted murder and other crimes in connection with a shootout earlier this month that sent bullets crashing into a neighborhood yeshiva and two parked cars, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Jeffrey Morel, 31, of Brookhaven Avenue, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Mary Lenz on charges of 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, criminal possession of a firearm and three counts of criminal mischief in the fourth degree.
According to the charges, video surveillance footage showed that on May 1, between approximately 6:54 a.m. and 7:05 a.m., a man entered an apartment building at 9-10 Dinsmore Ave., approached Morel 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 yeshiva.
The second man was captured on video leaving the building and entering the intersection. Morel pointed a gun at him and fired multiple shots. The target can be seen pointing what appeared to be a gun at Morel. Two bullet holes were later found in a window at the school. 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 from the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway found bullet fragments and one fired bullet inside the school, as well as a bullet fragment on the ground in front of the window. 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.
“It is extremely fortunate that this brazen shooting did not lead to any injuries to students, teachers, innocent bystanders or the defendant’s intended target,” Katz said. “We will not tolerate this type of lawlessness on our streets and the defendant will be held to account.”
Judge Lentz ordered Morel to return to court on May 15. If convicted of the attempted murder charge, Morel faces up to 25 years in prison, according to the DA’s office.