A popular nightclub owner was killed and five other people were wounded in an early morning Christmas shooting outside of a Westchester County dance hall.
A volley of shots erupted on the sidewalk in front of The Mansion nightclub on North Third Ave. in Mount Vernon just after 4 a.m. Sunday as owner O’Neil Bandoo was booting a group of rowdy revelers from a late night party, police and witnesses said.
Bandoo, 36, was killed in a tight lobby leading into the club from the street, police said.
One suspect is in custody following the Yuletide tragedy.
Bandoo’s father-in-law, Patrick Merchant, said a fight inside the club led to the fatal shooting.
“The guy was getting rough inside of the club, so they let him out,” Merchant, of the Bronx, told the Daily News. “The guy retaliated and came back and just started shooting on them in the front, just shooting on all of them.”
“This is the worst Christmas ever,” he said.
Mount Vernon police officers, whose headquarters are less than two blocks from the club, heard the shots and ran toward the chaos, Adinaro said.
Security guards at the club helped cops tackle the gunman as he tried to run from the bloody scene.
The suspect, Errol Hillary, 39, of the Bronx, was angry after the club tossed him from a party, the Journal News reported. He was free on $200,000 bail after his arrest on attempted murder charges in the Bronx in June, public records show.
A handgun was recovered near the club and most of the victims were trapped between the gunfire and the hallway leading into the club, Adinaro said.
The wounded victims, who were shot in the legs, arms, chest and back, were treated at Westchester Medical Center.
“I’ve never seen anything like this on Christmas Day,” said police Capt. Edward Adinaro.
The man could face murder and five attempted murder charges, police said.
The late-night Christmas party was wrapping up when the gunfire pierced the air, witnesses said.
Mansion employee Cleveland Douse heard the shots from the second floor of the venue.
“I just heard shots fired and I run back upstairs,” Douse said. “When I come downstairs I see three men lying on the floor there.”
“It’s sad. It’s a terrible thing,” he added. “After the party is said and done, everybody enjoying themselves.”
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas and Bandoo’s wife, Natasha Tender Bandoo, were outside the club Sunday morning as a crowd of mourners, some donning Santa hats, stood nearby.
“It’s a dark day in our city,” Thomas said. “Today is a day we're supposed to spend with our family, not extend condolences. No person and no family should ever spend Christmas like this.”
Bandoo left behind two young children, Thomas said.
Natasha Tender Bandoo’s grandfather, who did not give his name, said the Bandoos were recently involved in a lawsuit with the building’s property owner.
"The case finalized early last week," the grandfather said. "The club has done very well. He tried to buy the building from the owner and they didn't want to sell it to him."
The property price was jacked up to $2 million and that's when the Bandoos went to court to take on the building's owner.
But his granddaughter, Natasha, hadn’t mentioned it to him because the case "was a lot of stress."
The couple opened the club in 2014.
According to the Mansion Instagram page, the venue, which doubles as a catering hall, hosts birthday parties, baby showers and weddings — as well as alcohol-fueled dance parties.
Bandoo’s relatives were stunned by the holiday violence.
“He was a loving and devoted husband and one of the best dads to his children, He was a loving Individual with the Biggest heart, Cuz you will definitely be missed” Michelle Bandoo, a cousin, wrote in a touching Facebook post Sunday.
“My heart is piercing for his poor wife and how she’s gonna explain to my little cuz that Daddy is not coming back.”
6 shot at Mount Vernon, New York nightclub early Christmas morning
|O'Neil Bandoo and his wife Natasha Tender Bandoo appear in this Facebook image. (FACEBOOK)|
MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. — The co-owner of a nightclub in Westchester County and another person were killed and four others were wounded in a shooting early Christmas morning, CBS New York reported.
Shots were fired near the entrance of The Mansion club around 4:30 a.m. It happened in Mount Vernon, just north of New York City’s Bronx borough.
Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said in a statement Sunday that the establishment’s owner, O’Neal Bandoo, was killed. He says the name of the second person who died is being withheld pending family notification.
Mount Vernon Police Captain Edward Adinaro said the 36-year-old shooter was in custody. The suspect’s identity was not immediately known.
Police said the suspect had been told to leave the premises before he took out a gun and started firing.
“Security personnel immediately tackled him,” Adinaro said. “He was able to free himself, and with the officers on the scene, they were able to further subdue him.”
The four people who were wounded are expected to survive.
“No family should ever spend Christmas like this, ever,” Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said.
Authorities say the man was charged with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder.
1 DEAD, 5 WOUNDED IN SHOOTING AT NIGHTCLUB IN MOUNT VERNON
|Police collect a shell casing at the venue after the murder of club owner O’Neil Bandoo. (THEODORE PARISIENNE FOR NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)|
MOUNT VERNON, New York (WABC) -- A suspect is in custody after a nightclub shooting in Mount Vernon early Christmas Day that left the club's owner dead and five other people injured.
The shooting happened at The Mansion, a club on North 3rd Avenue.
Police said the victims were found in the club's lobby and on the street outside.
It was supposed to be a festive night of holiday partying in Mount Vernon, but by Sunday morning it had turned to absolute grief.
"It is a dark day in our city. No person, no family should ever spend Christmas like this," said Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas.
The mayor's office in Mount Vernon confirmed that just before 4:30 a.m., well-known nightclub owner O'neal Bandoo was gunned down at the club that he and his wife operate.
Security guards were able to tackle the suspect, and police arrived seconds later to arrest him. It happened when the club was closing.
"It appears he may have been ejected from the club. I don't know what led to the ejection," said Mount Vernon Police Captain Edward Adinaro.
"Right now my daughter is devastated," said Bandoo's father-in-law Patrick Merchant, and he too suggests the reason for the violence stemmed from the gunman being asked to leave.
"And the guy like, retaliated and just start shooting upon the front, you know what I mean?," said Merchant.
Police say the injured were taken to area hospitals with non-life threatening injuries.
But the grim sight of the Medical Examiner van outside the club hours later cast a dark cloud over the community.
"My city, where I was born and raised, is not getting any better," said Mount Vernon resident Raymond Coleman.
"The City Council has un-funded police positions, which I'm sure, has led to a spike in violent crimes like these, this year," said Captain Adinaro.