Both men arrested in connection with a shooting in Flanders on Wednesday afternoon were remanded to the Suffolk County Jail in Riverside without bail on Thursday morning, following their arraignment in Southampton Town Justice Court.
Kwame Opoku, 32, of Mastic Beach was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree criminal use of a firearm and first-degree reckless endangerment, all felonies.
Mr. Opoku, who entered a not guilty plea, is being represented by Eileen Powers, an attorney with offices in Riverhead.
In February 2013, Mr. Opoku sued Southampton Town and its police department, alleging that members of the law agency’s now-defunct Street Crimes Unit conducted warrantless searches, fabricated evidence and provided false testimony that led to his arrest in January 2011 at his then-home in Noyac. Mr. Opoku had served seven months in jail before his conviction—along with those of six others—were overturned at the request of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. Those cases were overturned after an investigation revealed that Eric Sickles, a member of the Street Crimes Unit, had been addicted to prescription drugs at the time of Mr. Opoku’s arrest.
On Thursday morning, Emmanuel Lee Coleman, 34, of Riverhead was charged with first-degree assault, a felony, for his role in Wednesday’s shooting. Detectives also learned that Mr. Coleman was wanted for violating his parole.
Mr. Coleman, who also entered a not guilty plea, was assigned a public defender who refused to share her name with a reporter.
After accepting the pleas of the defendants, Judge Barbara Wilson granted orders of protection that were requested by the victim, who was not identified in court, and several unnamed witnesses. Judge Wilson did not read their names into the record after noting that the list included several minors.
The mother, brother and a cousin of the shooting victim attended Thursday’s court appearance, though all three declined to give their names or discuss the incident. The victim’s mother did note that her son remains in the intensive care unit at Stony Brook Hospital.
Mr. Opoku and Mr. Coleman are due back in Southampton Town Justice Court on Tuesday, October 21, at 9 a.m.
Southampton Town Police detectives arrested two men in connection with a shooting in Flanders on Wednesday afternoon that seriously injured a 36-year-old Flanders man.
Kwame Opoku, 32, of Mastic Beach and Emmanuel Coleman, 34, of Riverhead were both arrested a short time after the shooting on McKinley Street that was reported at 3:08 p.m. Following an intense search that involved multiple police agencies and K-9 units, both men were arrested near the intersection of Spinney and Flanders roads in Flanders; detectives said they were found sitting inside a white Chrysler sedan that was observed fleeing the area shortly after the shooting.
The victim—an unidentified man who police said lives at 5 McKinley Street in Flanders—suffered multiple gunshot wounds while standing in front of his home and had to be airlifted by Suffolk County Police Medevac helicopter to Stony Brook University Hospital, where he immediately underwent emergency surgery. He was listed in critical condition, police said.
Detectives said Mr. Opoku and the victim had a verbal argument earlier in the day on Wednesday that led to the shooting. Authorities did not disclose the nature of the argument.
It also was not immediately clear who was responsible for the shooting, though Mr. Opoku was charged with second-degree criminal use of a firearm, a felony.
Mr. Opoku was also charged with first-degree assault, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree reckless endangerment, all felonies, according to police.
Mr. Coleman, meanwhile, was charged with first-degree assault, a felony, and detectives also learned he was wanted on a warrant for violating his parole. Police did not disclose Mr. Coleman’s prior criminal history.
Mr. Opoku and Mr. Coleman were transported to police headquarters in Hampton Bays and held overnight. They were scheduled to be arraigned Thursday morning in Southampton Town Justice Court.
Police responded to McKinley Street after receiving reports of multiple gunshots in the area. In addition to Town Police, State Police, K-9 units and Westhampton Beach Village Police also responded to the scene and assisted in the search.
Town Police detectives asked anyone who might have witnessed the shooting, or could provide additional information, to contact them at (631) 702-2230, or to call the Crime Tip Hotline at (631) 728-3454. All calls will be kept confidential, police said. Witnesses can also email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southampton Town Police responded to a report of gunshot victim on McKinley Street in Flanders around 3:15 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, according to police radio chatter.
Details were sketchy, and a representative from the department was not available to comment, according to a police dispatcher.