Schenectady County

Victim testifies in Schenectady diner shooting trial

One of the victims of a 2006 shooting at the Olympic Diner testified this morning in the trial of th

Shots had just rung out at the Olympic Diner in August 2006 and Ishmael Robinson tried to back out of the way.

He had been at the diner waiting for his breakfast order that morning when someone opened fire after an argument.

He saw his opening, and headed for the door.

“I thought it was safe,” Robinson testified this morning at the attempted murder trial of Michael Estella. “But it wasn’t, and I got shot.”

He said the pain was like a massive stab wound, “over 10” on a scale of 1 to 10.

Robinson identified Estella as the man who shot him.

Estella, 22, formerly of Chrisler Avenue, is standing trial on attempted murder and other charges, accused of opening fire inside the diner Aug. 6, 2006.

Three men were hit, including the 24-year-old Robinson, who was shot in the stomach. None of the three suffered life-threatening wounds.

Also shot was 19-year-old Akeem Boynton and 21-year-old Teren Day.

It was Day who was the target of the shooting, Robinson said, though he identified him by a different name.

Prosecutors played surveillance video footage of the incident. The black and white, jumpy video shows a man in a black shirt and white hat, whom Robinson identified as Estella, entering and leaving.

He returns and then a commotion erupts among the 20 or so people inside. That’s when the first shots rang out, Robinson said.

“When the first shots rang out, everyone scattered,” he said under questioning by prosecutor Amy Burock.

Day advanced toward Estella, continuing an argument over a girl. He can be seen first stumbling and then falling backward into a seated position by a stool.

Robinson, now hit himself, runs the length of the counter, toward the restrooms, attempting to get away. He eventually runs back and exits out the front.

Robinson said he was at the diner that morning getting breakfast before going to his landscaping job.

Defense attorney Adam Parisi seized on Robinson’s past convictions, including one for drugs. Robinson was on parole at the time. Parisi also emphasized two pieces of crack cocaine that were found in Robinson’s shoe after he was whisked to the hospital.

Robinson was also arrested just last week on new drug warrants after U.S. Marshals tracked him down in New York City. He testified in a jail jumpsuit while handcuffed and two corrections officers stood guard behind him.

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