Trial of Suspect in Shooting of 4 Shomrim Members Starts

BROOKLYN -

The trial of the man suspected of shooting four Shomrim members during a dramatic chase on 13th Avenue two years ago began Tuesday, with the defense attorney claiming self defense as the motive behind the gun violence.

David Flores, the 36-year-old man identified by Shomrim units on Sept. 4, 2010, 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 Brooklyn’s State Supreme Court flanked by his attorney, Doug Appel. Judge Dineen Riviezzo will preside over the case.

“[Shomrim] couldn’t wait for the police to arrive,” prosecutor Lindsay Ashwal said. “He had a loaded firearm. He was going to do anything he could to avoid being arrested.”

But Appel said that his client didn’t draw his weapon until Shomrim members attacked him.

“They surrounded his car and they were banging on his windows,” Appel said. “They dragged him across the street and they were savagely beating him.”

Shomrim members responding to the call said that they would not have approached Flores if they would have known he was carrying a weapon. They deny beating him.

During jury section Friday, the only Orthodox Jew was quickly eliminated from the pool after saying that he lived in Boro Park and knew some of the Shomrim members who were shot at. As many as 50 witnesses expected to testify in the high profile case.

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 Pennsylvania man, whose mother lives in Brooklyn, can get up to 100 years in prison if convicted for the four top counts of attempted murder.