The man suspected of taking aim at a luxury Upper East Side apartment building from across the East River on Roosevelt Island turned himself in early this morning. The New York Police Department and Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation’s Public Safety Department Chief Jack McManus announced earlier this morning that 22-year old Island resident Farris Koroma surrendered to authorities at the 114th Precinct in northwest Queens, at about 2am with an attorney present. Koruma admitted to being the suspect sought in last week’s shootings at One East River Place, on east 72nd street in Manhattan.
Farris Koruma outside Bread & Butter deli at 579 Main Street earlier this summer, from his facebook page.
He was charged with reckless endangerment, possession of a weapon, and criminal mischief. Koruma, who is prolific on Facebook, discussed his affiliation with the Crips gang on July 11, “I joined a gang cause i felt that love, i felt unity, and i felt loyalty amongst my brothers.... I never HAD to turn crip... It was a choice.” On July 14, he posted, “This summer is trash. Im bout to shoot somebody.”
Police targeted Roosevelt Island in their investigation after overnight workers at Manhattan Park’s 30 River Road called 911 to report hearing the gunshots that penetrated two windows in One East River Place, a 50-story high rise across the river on 72nd street, on successive nights.
The investigation started in the 30 River Road building. Jordan Isenstadt, the vice president of Marino Public Relations, who represents the Manhattan Park complex, said that Manhattan Park Management cooperated fully with NYPD detectives during that time and that their security firm added additional roving security personnel, for the duration of the investigation.
While it appears that Koruma, who is not a Manhattan Park resident, was shooting from the West Promenade, the investigation had many Manhattan Park residents on edge.
NYPD detectives knocked on doors seeking witnesses or information. Longtime 30 River Road resident Lynne Shinozaki says she didn't find the detectives who came to her door particularly reassuring. “The police canvas was a joke," she says. "We were not asked how many people are in our household, and how many were present during the shooting. They didn't ask, ‘Do you, or anyone you know have a gun? Do you know how to shoot? Have you seen any suspicious individuals in the last week?’”
Other residents of the complex expressed concern about Manhattan Park management, charging them with not knowing who their tenants are and with allowing apartments to be illegally divided to house a rotation of temporary tenants. Others in the complex complained that that there was not a communication plan in the building for emergencies to immediately alert residents.
While many residents expressed relief that the shooter was in custody, some Islanders thought the police response was overblown. Kristin Bruan, a lawyer for The Legal Aid Society in the Bronx, thought the response by the NYPD, to have “three detectives set up between 20 and 30 River Road staring at the City,” was “absurd” considering nobody was hurt. Citing how much money detectives make, she said, “people need to think about where they want their resources to go.” She thinks the canvas should have been done by a beat cop, or a PSD officer.
To Bruan, this is a larger issue involving how are communities are policed and protected. “The NYPD wonders why there is no trust,” she says, pointing out that the 911 response time in low income communities is as high as double or more than it is in a place like Roosevelt Island or the Upper East Side. “That’s what bothers me about the whole thing.”
In Island activist J. Khadijah Abdurahman's view, this is a failure of our community. “Farris Koroma is one of our sons too, we have failed as a community when one of ours self destructs,” Abdurahman said.