A 36-year-old woman shot and killed alongside her dog in a Brooklyn bodega Sunday night has been identified as Jennifer Ynoa, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident.
One of the first shootings of the new year, Ynoa died from her injuries at Brooklyn Hospital later while her pit bull was pronounced dead at the scene. According to CBS News, she staggered out of the store after being hit, where authorities quickly found her unconscious on the street outside.
Police are still searching for the gunman, and no known suspects have been identified at this time. Though seemingly random, authorities investigating what happened believe that the shooter must have known the victim due to the nature of the attack. The motive remains unknown, however, as the suspect fled after the shooting.
The attack occurred at a NYC Smoke Shop on Dekalb Avenue on Sunday at around 10 p.m., where security camera footage showed a man exiting a red car and opening fire inside the store. The gunman was wearing a gray sweatsuit and a black ski mask. No arrests have yet to be made.
“He [got] in the car and [drove] away,” an unnamed police official told the New York Post after reviewing security camera footage. “The dog comes running out and collapses on the ground and then the lady comes out and collapses on the ground. 911 calls start coming in about shots fired.”
Detectives have also not ruled out that someone else at the Salim Smoke Shop may have been the intended target, and Jennifer Ynoa and her dog were struck by accident. A spokesman for the NYPD told Daily Mail that, “it’s unclear whether she knew the gunman or if he was aiming at someone else.”
Another man was reported as having been in the store, though he has yet to be identified.
“They’re looking at who was the guy in the back of the store, and was he the intended victim?” a police official said. “The lady seems to be unintended.”
“This is one of those terrible stories where you can’t even go to the corner store,” the officer continued.
Though she had not posted on her personal Twitter account since April 2018, Jennifer Ynoa described herself saying: “I’m weird, I’m quiet, I’m the most loyal person to the wrong people.”
Jennifer Ynoa was the second reported homicide of 2022 in New York City, according to the New York Post, after a woman in her 40s was stabbed to death in Queens Saturday night. The attack occurred at 21st Street and Broadway in Astoria, and the unnamed victim later died at Mount Sinai Queens Hospital.
For police detectives, that attack also remains a mystery as of Monday morning. According to reports from early in 2021, close to 70% of all shootings in New York City sat unsolved, with many witnesses unwilling to work with police who cannot keep their identities from surfacing.
Speaking at a Police Athletic League event at the Harvard Club before swearing in as city’s next mayor, Eric Adams stated that he would continue to be tough on crime during his tenure, warning agitators.
“We’re not going to surrender to those who are saying, ‘We’re going to burn down New York.’ Not my city,” Adams said. “We’re not going to have a city where anarchists come from outside our city and go into a community such as Queens and destroy the community for their own selfish needs or desires.”
In 2021 alone, the metropolitan city reported 485 murders, which was a 4% increase from 2020.