Jury selection in the trial of the man suspected of shooting four Shomrim members during a dramatic chase on 13th Avenue two years ago began Friday, with as many as 50 witnesses expected to testify in the high profile case.
David Flores, the 35-year-old man identified by Shomrim units on Sept. 4, 2011, as acting indecently, pulled a gun as they closed in on him and shot several bullets. Avrohom Kaztow, Motty Pearl, Motty Brauner and Yoily Klein were injured. All have completely recovered.
Flores appeared in court Friday flanked by his attorney, David Appel. He nodded a stiff good morning to the juror pool and was then seen nervously jotting notes in a yellow pad. Judge Dineen Riviezzo will preside over the case, in Brooklyn’s State Supreme Court.
Charles Hynes, the Brooklyn district attorney, is taking a personal interest in the case, which takes place during his seventh reelection campaign. He reportedly refused a plea deal from Flores’s attorney and upgraded the charges to attempted murder, rather than the lesser manslaughter charge that Appel wanted.
“They don’t want to make a deal with him,” a source close to the Shomrim told Hamodia. “Hynes said he doesn’t want to make a deal with him. For him, it’s an open and shut case.”
As many as 15 eyewitnesses are expected to testify against Flores, as well as a bevy of detectives and law enforcement officials.
The 2010 incident a week before Rosh Hashanah occurred on a busy corner of 13th Avenue and 47th Street. In a surreal scene, startled shoppers ducked for cover as others continued walking calmly just feet away.
Flores had previously been arrested nine times for various crimes, and was caught days later after an intense manhunt.
Coming a week after the Shomrim’s first-ever armed confrontation, the episode raised questions about how much responsibility the community patrol could take upon themselves.
In its aftermath, the Shomrim organization was honored by NewYork Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who visited the wounded members in the hospital. State Sen. Eric Adams and Assemblyman Dov Hikind, both Brooklyn Democrats, helped raise money for bullet proof vests.