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Employee fatally shot during armed robbery of Richmond Hill smoke shop: NYPD

Mar. 18, 2023 By Zachary Gewelb

A 20-year-old man was fatally shot during the armed robbery of a Richmond Hill smoke shop on Saturday afternoon and police are continuing their search for the alleged shooter and his accomplices behind the attack.

Officers from the 102nd Precinct responded to a call regarding a shooting outside The Plug smoke shop, located at 109-27 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill, at approximately 12:15 p.m. on March 18. Upon their arrival, officers found 20-year-old Daryus Clark, of Dillon Street, with a gunshot wound to his chest. A police spokesperson told QNS Clark was an employee working at the smoke shop.

Police respond to a fatal shooting at 109-27 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill on Saturday, March 18. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

EMS arrived at the scene and transported Clarke to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.

Police respond to a fatal shooting at 109-27 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill on Saturday, March 18. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

While a police spokesperson could not immediately provide QNS with details regarding potential suspects or a motive behind the shooting Saturday afternoon, the NYPD released details of the incident later Saturday night.

Further investigation revealed that three unknown men entered the smoke shop around 12:15 p.m. Once inside, one of the suspects flashed a firearm while the other two snatched $100 and some “smoking products,” a police spokesperson said. The spokesperson could not indicate what the stolen products were at this time.

When the trio attempted to leave the location, one of the suspects discharged the firearm, striking Clarke in the chest.

Police respond to a fatal shooting at 109-27 Jamaica Ave. in Richmond Hill on Saturday, March 18. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

The group fled the scene in a white Toyota four-door sedan and headed northbound on 110th Street, police said.

There have been no arrests made in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, state Senator Joe Addabbo, who represents Richmond Hill, claimed the smoke shop was illegal, something the NYPD could not immediately confirm when contacted by QNS Sunday morning.

“We cannot stand on the sidelines just watching the further infiltration of these illegal smoke shops and the unwanted criminal acts they bring into our communities,” Addabbo said in a statement Saturday. “We need to crack down on illegal smoke shops in this city and give more resources to our NYPD and sheriffs who desperately need them. I will continue to work on this issue and support legislation to end illegal smoke shop activity throughout our city.”

Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar also commented on the “tragic” incident.

This [a.m.], there was a tragic homicide resulting from a robbery at Plug Smoke Shop in Richmond Hill. I have zero tolerance for such heinous criminal acts in my district,” Rajkumar tweeted. “I am calling for a thorough investigation [and] for the criminals to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 7 a.m. on March 19.

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