View from inside: Families recount horror of drive-by

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Bullet holes in the window of a second-story apartment following a Wednesday night shooting in Riverhead.

The two families who live in the Riverhead house that was shot up in a Wednesday night drive-by shooting say they are searching for answers as they fear for their safety.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO  |  A bullet grazed the ceiling and police cut a hole to investigate.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | A bullet grazed the ceiling and police cut a hole to investigate.

Wilmer Nunez said he was asleep with his wife on the second floor when bullets exploded through a wall and bedroom window, waking the couple up.

“I’ve been [in the U.S.] 14 years and this is the first time I’ve ever been scared like that,” Mr. Nunez said.

The couple has lived in the two-family Third Street house for three years, he said.

Members of a family that lives on the first floor of the home attended the Thursday morning arraignment of the four suspects in Town Justice Court.

A woman who lives on the first floor — the family requested their names not be published — said she was half asleep when her sister came into her room yelling, “Shots were fired! Shots were fired!”

Two bullets got caught in the steel door directly in front of where the sister was sitting in a chair, the woman said. A third bullet ripped through a linen closet on the first floor.

Two children, ages 8 and 10, the grandchildren of the woman, were also in the apartment at the time of the shooting.

“We work, we stay here, we keep to ourselves,” the woman said. “We don’t understand why this has happened.”

The family members on hand at the arraignment said they do not know the four suspects and that they were concerned to hear prosecutors say the suspects have possible gang affiliations.

The woman said faith in God is helping the family through the ordeal and they’re grateful the alleged perpetrators were caught so quickly.

“God had his eyes watching over my sister and her family,” she said.

When told the suspects had been arrested, Mr. Nunez said he “got goosebumps.”

Neither of the two families own the house, which is owned by Bagshaw Rentals of East Main Street.

“Both families have lived there for years and years and never had a police issue there,” said Sandra Hogan of Bagshaw Rentals.

The family that lives on the first floor moved in in 1994, she said.

“They think it’s a case of mistaken identity, but we don’t know,” Ms. Hogan said.

cmiller@timesreview.com