MANHATTAN (PIX11) — A pair of alarming crimes unfolded overnight Tuesday into Wednesday at two Manhattan smoke shops, including the shooting of an employee at one location, police said.
The first incident, which occurred around midnight, began when a 32-year-old worker at the shop near West 49th Street and Ninth Avenue asked two people to leave because they were creating a disturbance, according to authorities.
An argument broke out and spread to the sidewalk outside the Hell’s Kitchen shop, where one of the individuals pulled out a gun and shot the worker in the left leg, officials said.
First responders rushed the victim to an area hospital in what police described as stable condition.
No arrests were announced as of early Wednesday, and investigators did not immediately provide detailed physical descriptions of those being sought.
Just hours later, around 2:45 a.m., another smoke shop on Fifth Avenue near West 27th Street in Midtown was robbed at gunpoint, authorities said.
Two crooks swiped an unspecified quantity of products from the store, then fled on foot, officials said. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported during the hold-up.
Detailed physical descriptions of those two men were also unavailable early Wednesday.
The incidents came just hours ahead of a City Council hearing Wednesday on the crackdown on shops selling cannabis products without a license. The shops connected to both the shooting and the robbery advertise cannabis products in their storefronts.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, downloading the NYPD Crime Stoppers mobile app, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).