You are reading

Mayor Orders Closure of Kew Gardens Hotel, the Scene of New Year’s Fatal Shooting

Umbrella Hotel (Google Maps)

Jan. 4, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the city to close a troublesome Kew Gardens hotel, where a 20-year-old was killed in a triple shooting Friday.

De Blasio’s order comes after several months of calls from local elected officials demanding he shutter the Umbrella Hotel, which has become a hotbed of illicit activities – including three shootings, sex trafficking, drug use and other crimes.

The New Year’s Day fatal shooting of a 20-year-old man was the third shooting to have occurred at the Queens Boulevard hotel since early July. The 20-year-old was killed in what officials are calling the city’s first homicide of the year.

De Blasio called the shooting death “very, very painful” and said he is working to close the hotel immediately.

“We’re going to use all the power of the city government to get [the Umbrella Hotel] closed and stop having the community suffer from what’s happened at that hotel,” he said in response to a question from the Queens Eagle during a morning briefing Monday.

There has been a series of shootings and violent incidents at the hotel since summer.

A shooting took place on July 3 when a 15-year-old reputed gang member shot another teen after the pair exited the lobby of the hotel. The victim, 17, was shot in the leg and required surgery.

Another shooting occurred on Aug. 9, although it resulted in no injuries. With this incident, the front door of the Umbrella Hotel was left ridden with bullet holes.

There was also a sex crime. In September, a man allegedly forced a 16-year-old girl into prostitution inside its hotel rooms.

Bullet holes in the door of the Umbrella Hotel after an Aug. 9 shooting (Courtesy of Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal’s Office)

In November, the Umbrella Hotel was served with 15 summonses — including two criminal summonses  — following a multi-agency inspection conducted by the NYPD, FDNY, DOB, DEP and Sheriff’s Office.

Residents and local lawmakers like Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal and Council Member Karen Koslowitz have called on the de Blasio administration to shutter the hotel since August.

After the August shooting, Rosenthal said he was thankful no one was hurt but said it was only a matter of time before someone was injured.

“Thankfully no one got hurt, but how many bullets can we dodge?” Rosenthal told the Queens Post in an August interview.

On New Year’s Day, the assembly member issued a statement condemning City Hall’s lack of action against the hotel, which he said led to the murder of the young man.

“For months, we have joined the Kew Gardens community in calling for this location to be shut down as reports of shootings, illicit drug sales, underage prostitution and unsafe gatherings became a regular occurrence,” Rosenthal said. “City Hall’s failure to act in a timely manner resulted in this preventable and atrocious tragedy.”

Newly-seated Queens Borough President Donovan Richards also called for the hotel’s closure.

“Today’s fatal shooting at the Umbrella Hotel near Queens Borough Hall was a sad and troubling way to start the New Year…,” Richards said on Friday. “It is time for the Umbrella Hotel, which has already been cited for numerous public safety violations, to be shut down.”

De Blasio, who remains under fire for his alleged inaction, said that the city would use all of its legal power to shut down the hotel, which he called “a blight on the community.”

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Mob of young people ransack Flushing boutique minutes after robbing man at knifepoint on Roosevelt Avenue: NYPD

Police from the 109th Precinct in Flushing are still looking for more than a dozen young people who allegedly robbed a man at knifepoint on Roosevelt Avenue and then pulled a smash-and-grab minutes later, looting a store of tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise last month.

The mob of more than a dozen men and women surrounded a 38-year-old man in the vicinity of Roosevelt Avenue and Union Street in the early morning of Monday, April 22. Several of the suspects threatened the victim with knives and some of the individuals menaced him with sticks before they forcibly removed his wallet, which contained $700 in cash, police said, adding that the victim was not injured during the incident.

Mayor announces new 9/11 memorial will be built in Whitestone to honor fallen service members from Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts

Queens will be home to the city’s new memorial dedicated to the 99 service members from the borough who lost their lives in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq following the events of 9/11, Mayor Eric Adams announced during a Fleet Week kickoff reception at City Hall on Thursday morning.

The borough of Queens was chosen because it is home to the largest number of post-9/11 service members who were killed in action during those conflicts. Queens is also home to the highest population of living veterans than any other borough.

Two men sentenced to life imprisonment in murder-for-hire of perceived business rival at Flushing karaoke club

The president of a Manhattan-based construction company and a California man were sentenced to life in prison in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday for orchestrating the murder of a businessman at a Flushing karaoke bar in 2019.

Qing Ming “Allen” Yu, 55, of Oyster Bay, and Zhe “Zack” Zhang, 35, of Arcadia, Calif., were convicted by a federal jury in October following a two-week trial for the contract killing of 31-year-old Xin “Chris” Gu, who worked at Yu’s company before becoming his business rival. The jury found the defendants guilty of murder-for-hire and murder-for-hire conspiracy for hiring a hitman to gun the victim down outside the Grand Slam KTV bar on Fowler Avenue