Blood stained the ice at the Bryant Park rink Saturday night, after a feud over a coat erupted in gunfire and two skaters who had been struck by bullets were rushed to the hospital still wearing their skates.
Screams rose from a crowd of 150 park-goers as four or five shots rang out at just after 11 p.m. The gunman had been sitting at a nearby table before he rose and opened fire into the rink, striking not only his apparent target but a 14-year-old boy who happened to skate into the shooter’s path.
The boy, Adonis Mera, of Manhattan, was struck in the back — and doctors told family members early Sunday that the lower half of his body has gone numb.
“They said he has no feelings from the waist down,” said Mera’s distraught brother, Jorge Arias, 29.
“He was just there to go skating with friends,” the anguished brother said of Adonis, who had been joyfully posting to his Facebook page about being at the rink moments before being shot.
“Bryant dead ass packed!” the boy posted.
“He took out the gun and held it up and squinted like he was aiming,” said one terrified eyewitness, Frances Vasques, 17, of Brooklyn. “He shot three times and ran.”
“The shots went off and people started jumping over the side of the rink,” said another witness, Andres Seixas, 21, of Queens. “They were climbing over each other to get out.”
The gunman, described as in his 20s, and wearing dreadlocks and a green and black North Face jacket, immediately fled the scene with his pals, and was being sought.
He left behind a scene that one eyewitness described as “mayhem.”
Rink staff began shouting for evervone to get down, as skaters hobbled through the skate house to escape, many of them throwing their rental skates at workers and scrambling away in their stocking feet.
“No one could run because they all had skates on,” said Raghuram Krishnamachari, 29, of Brooklyn. “Two minutes later, everyone was gone except one guy lying there on the ice.”
Cops tried to keep everyone in the skate house for questioning, but “people just wanted to get out,” said Halie Colon, 16, of The Bronx.
The gunman’s apparent intended victim, Javier Conteras, 20, of The Bronx, was hit in his hand and hip. Both were rushed to Bellevue Hospital.
Before rising from his seat and opening fire, the gunman was heard to say to the passing Conteras, “Give me your jacket,” a law-enforcement source said.
When Conteras passed by the gunman a second time, “he feels a burning sensation and sees he’s bleeding from the hand and hip,” the source said.
Rattled eyewitnesses told The Post a similar story — a taunt over a coat, gunfire, and then panic at one of Manhattan’s most beloved landmarks.
“He started walking real quick toward the ice, and I heard him say to the two guys with him that he was going to go talk to the guy who tried to steal his coat,” said witness Danny Betances, 15, of The Bronx. “Then he walked by,” Betances remembered. “I saw him holding a gun in his waistband — and then I ran the other way.”
Shocked skater Brenda Sabater, 15, of Manhattan, called the park “the safest place you could be.”
“This is the last place I thought something like this could happen,” she said. “I’ve seen stuff like this happen, but never in a place I felt safe.”
Notice, no mention of Mayor Bloomberg in this article.
After January 1, they'll cover this article much, much differently.
They'll prominently blame it on de Blasio and say we're heading back to the bad ol' days.