A 45-year-old man died after being shot while driving in his hometown of Hempstead and then crashing into the bleachers at a middle school, hitting three boys, Nassau County police said.
Jonathan Wade was driving a Lexus westbound on Albermarle Road when he witnessed a group of young people causing a disturbance on his mother’s lawn, called 911 to report the incident, circled the block and then was shot near the corner of Henry Street shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said. The incident came a day after Wade was arrested for reckless endangerment, prohibitive use of a dangerous weapon and possession of a dangerous weapon.
“The incident on the 29th, to my knowledge is [that] he responded to the location after learning his mother was assaulted” Capt. John Azzata, commander of the Homicide Squad, told reporters Thursday at police headquarters. “I can’t get into his mind, but being a son, if your mother is telling you she’s been assaulted, I think the natural reaction of any offspring would be to either call the police and then respond or go there to see if you could help your parent in any way, shape or form.”
Wade was carrying a shotgun that did not require a permit when he was arrested on Monday, but police say that he did not have the gun in his possession when he was killed. Prior to this incident, Wade had one prior conviction for disorderly conduct, Azzata said.
The victim drove off westbound to Henry Street, through a fence at Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School and struck three boys that were playing on a section of the bleachers.
The children who were taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries, police said. One of the victims had a fractured knee and other injuries, and the other two suffered superficial injuries. All of the boys are expected to make a full recovery.
Wade was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead two hours later.
Azzata emphasized that any reports indicating that the gunshot wound that killed Wade was self-inflicted are false.
Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this crime to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.