Charges upgraded to attempted murder in Flanders shooting

Kwame Opoku, 32, of Mastic Beach, being led to his arraignment on Oct. 16. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)
Kwame Opoku, 32, of Mastic Beach, being led to his arraignment on Oct. 16. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

A Mastic Beach man accused of shooting a man in Flanders is now facing upgraded charges, including attempted murder, after his arraignment in county court this week.

Kwame Opoku, 32, pleaded not guilty Monday in Suffolk County Criminal Court after being indicted by a grand jury on felony attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon charges, a court spokesperson said.

He remains held at Suffolk County Correctional Facility on $250,000 bail or $500,000 bond, jail officials said.

Southampton Town Police arrested Mr. Opoku and Emmanuel Coleman, 34, of Riverhead in connection with the Oct. 15 shooting that left one Flanders man in critical condition.

Police said the 36-year-old male victim was standing in front of his home on McKinley Street when he was shot. According to 27east.com, authorities said he was shot twice at close range in the elbow and back.

Mr. Coleman had pleaded guilty Oct. 24 to third-degree hindering prosecution, said Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman Bob Clifford; he will not serve any more time in county jail, as his sentence was the time he already served in jail since his arrest, Mr. Clifford said.

However, Mr. Coleman will serve one year in an upstate prison for a violation of parole, Mr. Clifford added.

Mr. Coleman, a father who had been working for a temp agency in Islandia, was originally charged with first-degree assault, a felony, officials said.

Mr. Opoku, also a father, was originally 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 previously had a 2011 drug conviction overturned and he had filed a lawsuit against Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, according to prior Newsday stories. He dropped the lawsuit in September, Newsday reported.

An order of protection was issued the two men following their latest arrests for seven individuals — including two children who were home at the time of the shooting.

One of the children listed in the order is related to Mr. Opoku, prosecutors said.

He’s due back in county criminal court on Nov. 24.

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with Paul Squire