Queens smoke shop worker killed in daytime gun robbery; ‘A young kid. Very nice guy’
A Queens smoke shop worker who sold marijuana products was killed Saturday during a daylight robbery, police said.
Daryus Clarke, 20, was working inside The Plug, a smoke shop on Jamaica Ave. near 110th St. in Richmond Hill, when three men stormed in with guns at about 12:15 p.m. and began taking tobacco and THC products, police said.
During the blitzkrieg raid one of the suspects opened fire, fatally wounding Clarke, police and witnesses said.
“I heard like a ‘bam, bam, bam, bam,’” recounted a 54-year-old man who gave his name as Elliot. “I was thinking, ‘Not fireworks. Who’s going to do fireworks?’ Bam, bam! I said, ‘Oh my God.’ All of a sudden, I see police and ambulance was coming. I left. I didn’t want to get shot.”
“We heard three shots and then heard three more right after,” said another witness, who wished not to be named. “I ran in there and he was shot on the floor. He had two in his chest. He was bleeding from his mouth.”
The suspects, their arms filled with stolen items, ran to an awaiting white Toyota Camry and sped off.
Police officers soon arrived and tried to save Clarke’s life, said a woman, 52, who identified herself as Delma and a customer of the store.
“I saw two cops pumping somebody’s heart. He was on the ground,” said Delma. “It’s so sad. It’s sad. It’s sad. There was no need. Why would you shoot him?”
EMS rushed Clarke to Jamaica Hospital, but he could not be saved. Clarke lived in Jamaica.
“He was a young kid. Very nice. Very nice guy,” said Delma.
“He’s a good guy. Always chill, always welcoming,” said another store regular who gave his name as Tony.
“This is a hot block, but this usually doesn’t happen like this, in broad daylight,” said Tony, 21.
Several THC products were found discarded on the street outside the store.
Cops were scouring the area for surveillance footage that would help them identify the suspects. No arrests had been made as of Saturday evening.