Neighbor: “Why Did Someone Need to Get Killed?”
People who live near a Binghamton after-hours club where a man was shot execution-style want to know why the place had not been closed before the homicide.
The party place at 56 Orton Avenue had been operating for several weeks before 22-year-old Brandon Hernandez was gunned down just before 5 a.m. on April 22.
Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said officers had been aware of the club for about three months before the shooting.
Speaking on WNBF Radio's Binghamton Now program Tuesday, Mayor Richard David said he would make the permanent closing of the operation a priority.
But angry neighbors say it shouldn't have taken a death to get the unlicensed club shut down.
One woman who has lived near the site for about a year said people who partied there were "crazy drunk" all the time when the club operated on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
The woman said she and her niece knew something bad was going to happen at the club. As she stood a few steps away from the building Tuesday afternoon, she asked, "Why did someone need to get killed?"
Minutes later, Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell drove into the parking lot where Hernandez was shot. He told a reporter that he had "just become aware" of the club after the killing.
Cornwell said he is investigating the Orton Avenue club and other places like it. He said Broome County is "not going to tolerate after-hours establishments."
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