Beef leads to blast, then bust

Shane Dunham.

Kingston police said a simmering dispute boiled over early on the morning on Tuesday, July 17 when a Kingston man armed with a shotgun opened fire on a crowd of young people on a Midtown street, leaving 10 wounded.

According to police, the violence occurred around 4:10 a.m. as a crowd of people stood around a vehicle parked next to a vacant lot near18 O’Neil St. The victims, all between the ages of 17 and 21, had just returned from a Sweet 16 party at an Uptown Kingston nightspot when Shane Dunham, 20, approached on foot from the direction of Tremper Avenue. According to police, Dunham fired at least two shells from a sawed-off shotgun into the crowd. Eight men and two women were peppered by what police described as “light shot” from the shotgun blasts. All 10 were treated for non-life threatening injuries at Kingston Hospital and all had been released by the next day, police said.

The next day, KPD detectives and uniformed cops swarmed the area, searching through a vacant lot littered with blunt wrappers and combing through trash bags and weeds hunting for evidence. The crime scene, about a block from Broadway, is next to an abandoned rail line adjacent to Boice Brothers Dairy, a few houses and the Broadmor apartments. The area has also been the scene of a number of police enforcement actions in recent weeks in response to complaints about drug activity.


But, police say, an ongoing dispute between groups of neighborhood youth, not drugs, underlie the latest bloodshed.

“This is a beef that has been going on for a few weeks,” said KPD Detective Sgt. Brian Robertson. “There have been a few previous incidents back and forth.”

According to Robertson, cops identified Dunham as a suspect early on in the investigation and kept tabs on him throughout the day waiting for an opportunity to bring him in without incident. The opportunity came around 12:50 a.m. on Wednesday, July 18 when cops, including heavily armed members of the department’s Emergency Response Team, nabbed Dunham in a vehicle stop at the intersection of Wall and Pearl streets not far from his home at27 Washington Uptown Kingston.

“We had good information, we’d been working it pretty hard all night,” said Robertson. “We just wanted to arrest him in safe location.”

Slideshow image: KPD detectives Mike Powers, left, and Brian Robertson Tuesday near the scene of the shooting. (Photo by Jesse J. Smith)