May. 31, 2023 By Bill Parry
A Far Rockaway man was indicted by a Queens grand jury for attempted murder in connection with a shooting on a neighborhood street on May 1 that sent bullets crashing into a nearby yeshiva, narrowly missing a student and two parked cars.
Jeffrey Morel, 31, of Brookhaven Avenue, was arraigned May 30 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino 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.
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 school.
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 a school window. A 13-year-old student was in a classroom when a bullet entered the building and narrowly escaped injury, according to the charges.
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.
“Queens is not the Wild West,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Shootouts on our streets will not be tolerated. Fortunately, no one was injured and this defendant will be held to account.”
Justice Cimino ordered Morel to return to court on June 27. If convicted on the attempted murder charge, Morel faces up to 25 years in prison.