Officers busted down the front door of 935 Maple Ave. the evening of Feb. 21 looking for possible murder suspects.
Information the department’s Special Operations Squad had indicated that beyond that door was living space, but it wasn’t. It was a dark, narrow foyer.
There was a door on the other end and, unknown to raiding officers, two side doorways, one to the basement and one to the upstairs.
Officers opened the main door all the way, the opened door covering the unknown upstairs doorway all but six inches.
Then came a blast and two officers were hit, one in his equipment, another by a ricocheting pellet in his chest, according to a prosecution account Monday.
Quickly squad members realized what had happened: Someone behind that opened door fired a shotgun blast at raiding officers, spraying more than 400 pellets of buckshot into the narrow foyer.
Officers Jeremy Pace and Thomas Kelly were hit, and the wall behind them was sprayed as well.
The range was close enough to seriously injure or even kill them, Philip Mueller, who is prosecuting the alleged shooter.
But, with their bullet-proof vests and equipment absorbing the impact, the officers escaped with bruises.
Officers quickly yelled for the unseen shooter to drop his gun. He did, surrendering, without squad members returning fire.
The recovered shotgun had already been cocked, ready to fire again, Mueller said.
Mueller gave the account of the raid Monday afternoon, following the morning arraignment of the suspected foyer shooter, Adrian Parbhudial.
Parbhudial pleaded not guilty to a six-count indictment, including one top count of first-degree attempted murder.
Police raided the Maple Avenue home looking for suspects in the Feb. 20 killing of 24-year-old Ganesh Ramgoolam on Maple Avenue.
Four are now charged in the killing. Adrian Parbhudial, however, has not been implicated, Mueller said.
Facing charges of second-degree murder are Dhanashar Persaud, 26, of 23 Moyston St.; Vishan A. Parbhudial, 23, of 935 Maple Ave.; and Richard T. Baliraj, 21, of 104-25-11 4th St., Queens; and Angelene P. Parbhudial, 21, of 935 Maple Ave. Vishan Parbhudial is the brother of Adrian Parbhudial.
Mueller said Monday authorities believe the Ramgoolam killing resulted from an ongoing feud between the Parbhudials and a group that included Ramgoolam.
Ramgoolam had been involved in a contentious phone call with the Parbhudials some time before his death.
Adrian Parbhudial was represented in court Monday by attorney Steve Signore. Signore declined to comment later.
In all, Adrian Parbhudial faces one count of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree reckless endangerment, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, first-degree hindering prosecution, third-degree perjury and making an apparently sworn false written statement.
It was when officers opened the second door that prosecutors believe Parbhudial descended from the second floor, armed with the 12-gauge shotgun.
It was also Parbhudial’s account of the raid that led to the perjury and false statement counts, Mueller said.
According to Parbhudial’s written statement to police, he thought someone was breaking into his house after another incident a year or so before.
He ran downstairs, seeing figures dressed in black.
“My finger was on the trigger and the shotgun discharged and the shotgun fell to the ground,” according to the written statement.
Mueller noted Monday that the shotgun Parbhudial used had a round in the chamber when it was recovered, something that would not be there had the gun fell to the ground immediately after being fired.
He also noted that the blast had to travel through a six-inch gap.
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