This week a gun fell from the waistband of apprehended suspect Edwin Santana and shot Officer Rodney Lewis, who is recovering. The Times today traces the weapon’s history. It turns out the old-fashioned .32 shipped in 1949 to the John Jovino Gun Shop — the one with the big gun hanging in front — down by the old police headquarters. Jovino was a supplier of choice for cops for years, though NYPD now handles most of its own weaponry needs. So the gun has been knocking around for years; Santana says he took it from a friend to avoid its detection when the friend was being frisked. After its use as evidence, it will be melted down for remanufacture — probably as wire hangers.
This reminded us of the Voice‘s visit to Jovino in 2007, where a reporter witnessed a large gun sale to diplomats from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Their purchase appeared to be legal but, given the buyers’ diplomatic immunity, the guns could have been taken most anywhere. They could have been sent back home in a diplomatic pouch, where they could be have been used in the country’s still ongoing civil war.
Or they could have been passed to someone on the streets of New York, to turn up in another crime story sometime in the future. Photo (cc) permanently scatterbrained.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 30, 2009