BREAKING–Incident at Radio Perfecto

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Word has it a man was shot and killed at Radio Perfecto earlier this evening. Some serious shit definitely transpired: as Bwog passed the bar at 118th and Amsterdam at around 3:45 AM it spotted about a half-dozen police cars, an ambulance, and a camera crew; the block had been cordoned off with police tape and the victim’s body had been taken outside. As the restaurant is across the street from Schermerhorn and only two blocks from Plimpton, Bwog is pretty rattled–sources at the crime scene said that this was a shooting death, but we’ll have more details as they emerge.

Eyewitness account after the jump.

Sent to Bwog at 5:07 AM:

There was (what sounded like) a shooting last night in front of Radio Perfecto, on 119th and amsterdam. I was walking down Amsterdam, and saw a crowd (25+ people) of decidedly non-columbia looking people in front of the bar, (they seemed older than college/grad students, dressed differently, and the crowd was predominantly black, I think). There was a tussle/fight going on which I could hear from 116th street onwards (I was walking up Amsterdam). A bit after, two shots were fired (sounded like a loud, muted ‘pop’, like a tire bursting) and I saw everyone scatter; everyone around immediately started running. I sprinted home, and after a minute (literally) saw ambulances and police cars speeding by with sirens on.



  1. witness

    I was around when this happened. I was walking down Amsterdam around 3:10am, and saw a crowd (25+ people) in front
    of the bar. There was a tussle/fight going on which I could hear from 116th street onwards.

    When I was walking on the opposite side of Amsterdam, directly opposite Radio Perfecto, I heard two shots (they sounded like a loud, muted 'pop', like a tire bursting). Without thinking, I started running, everyone around me did as well.

    A minute (literally) after I sprinted home, I saw ambulances and police cars speeding by with sirens on. It certainly wasn't the greatest night, or the greatest timing. People around this area, please be safe!

  2. omg...  

    what the fuck...this is yet another good reason for manhattanville expansion!!! btw, 50 bucks says that the shooter was black.

  3. boo

    This happened inside or outside? I walk past the area a lot well past midnight and it's not uncommon to see some of the locals getting into near-fights outside the joint.

    It would surprise me to hear of this happening inside though. Not a bad bar. Serves up good cider.

  4. guy

    bet you that the racist comment above was made by an anti-expansion protester trying to win points for his/her side.

  5. Wait

    I hear that there's still a body out there covered by a sheet. Is that true???

  6. Sure

    I will never listen to any argument that tries to prove "guns don't kill people." In the immortal words of Eddie Izzard:

    "Guns don't kill people. People do.

    But you know, I think the gun helps."

  7. sad but true...  

    Well, if you read the works of Charles Murray, Samuel Morton, and Cesare Lombroso, they all agree that there is no direct relationship between murder rates and race. Rather, the facts show that there is a relationship between social conditions and murder rates (i.e. poorer neighborhoods produce more murders). Considering the fact that the 2006 poverty rate was at 25% for African Americans, it is logical to say that statistically speaking a murder is more likely to have an African American involved than any other race, (check the United States Census Bureau and they present the facts). Furthermore, the murder rate for blacks was at 55% in 2006, higher than any other race. It's a sad fact, but it is true, and I agree that our society has forced people into these social conditions. Although comment 2 is mildly racist, it's fairly warranted.

    I'm just saying, but who knows? maybe it wasn't a black guy. We'll just have to wait and see.

    • Will Brew

      I think the key issues here are the fact that African American people represent about 13% of the population and if those stats you quoted are true, then for the murder rate for African Americans to be 55% is way out of proportion relative to the population. The issue with regards to the relationship between poverty level and murder rate is a key issue, and it would be interesting to see what the perpertrators income backgrounds are to get a more accurate picture. The thing to remember here is that even though a relationship may be establish, it does not prove that poverty causes a tendency to murder. The poverty could be just a confounder to other issues that may increase the likelihood to murder such as lack of education, poor self -esteem, hatred, history of abuse, etc.

      • Umm...  

        Despite the fact that I'm still not entirely sure what a murder rate for a specific group is, it seems to me that, grammatically, it refers to a rate that's internal to the group--in this instance, a rate within the African American community, not the US as a whole. If that's the case, then the percentage of the population that's African American has absolutely nothing to do with the murder rate for African Americans, because that rate of 55% is a rate already within the 13% of the population. The only possible impact that the 13% number could have on the murder rate would be on the sample size.

        And, I'm not really sure what you're trying to infer by saying that the "key issue" is that African Americans have a murder rate that's disproportionate to their population, but that poverty can be a confounder.

  8. official email

    Dear GS Students,

    Public Safety has alerted us that there was a shooting outside Radio Perfecto at 3 a.m., Sunday morning, after an argument within the restaurant spilled outside. One person was killed and another wounded. We have been informed that these individuals are not Columbia affiliates. There have not yet been any arrests made in the case and the investigation is continuing. This is a tragic and sad for all those involved. As Radio Perfecto is near the Columbia campus and frequented by many Columbia students, Public Safety thought that students would want to hear about this incident immediately, thus this email. The Office of Public Affairs will be posting an additional announcement on the Columbia website. Giving many of the concerns about crimes in and around campus this semester, I am planning a GS Forum with Jim McShane, Vice President for Public Safety; one of the matters we will want to address is when and how to best notify students about crimes within our community and surrounding community. You might also want to visit the Public Safety website at which provides information and advice about safety strategies and resources. Also, remember that you can sign up via SSOL to have text messages sent to your phone by the University which would alert you to matters of grave emergency for our community. If you have concerns about this incident or your safety, please be in touch with Public Safety and make your GS advisor aware of your concerns.


    Mary McGee

    Dean of Students and Associate Dean of Faculty

    Columbia University School of General Studies

  9. expert says  

    fine, it might be statistically the case, but why be an angry person and just assume its going to be a black guy. and the sick thing is, you are going to feel so satisfied if its actually true. i go to school with disgusting people.

  10. Umm...  

    What does it mean for a murder rate for any particular group to be 55%? That seems like a really, really big number no matter how I interpret it.

  11. why  

    I don't understand why GS students get an email alerting them of this but CC students don't? Thanks for caring, CC.

  12. Anonymous  

    What about the Jews? I hear they have tails......Also, the discrimination against CC NEEDS to be curbed. Hunger strike, anyone?

  13. Anonymous  

    Hey, "Sad but true", nice statistic and great references. However, if the murder rate of black people is 55%, every single black person is either shooting another black person or getting shot. It also means that given the equation goes to infinity, the final black person will have to shoot himself. If this bloodbath is actually going to happen, I'm moving to Sweden. (Where there are no black people.)

  14. upset  

    I live in the building on the northeast corner of 119th and Amsterdam (where AmCaf is). My roommate and I were home at the time of the incident. We heard shouting, then shots, then a car alarm, then more shouting, then police sirens.

    My roommate went down at the time of the shooting and asked our doorman what was going on. He said that there was a shooting at radio perfecto.

    Two police detectives knocked on our apartment door about a half hour ago to ask if we heard or saw anything. They are knocking on everyone's door in the building.

    This is really upsetting. Most of the buildings on this and surround blocks are owned by columbia and a lot of grad students and postdocs live here.

  15. upset's roommate  

    I'm a bit upset that CC and GS have received an email about this incident and GSAS have not. The Columbia dorms are several blocks away, but 119th street is all grad student housing and we'd like to know what's going on outside our own windows.

  16. bc09

    I posted this earlier, so I guess it didn't go through, but...

    Does anyone know what the fuck was going on last night at Cathedral Gardens? I was returning home at about 1:30am and there are multiple police cars in front of the building, an ambulance and then tons of paramedics bringing out a girl on a stretcher with another really distraught, screaming girl behind them. When I entered the building, there were gauze pads with blood on them on the floor. I'm really hoping nothing awful happened...

  17. Sort of

    It's University Apartment Housing. That area is littered with Columbia owned and leased UAH buildings (between Amsterdam and Morningside). GS is allocated a certain percentage of space in UAH (along with grad students). Some of the apartments are actually quite nice.

  18. vecino  

    I heard the shoots and screams last night. I have seen that the bar changes drastically as the night goes on from a traditional college bar into a getto place. I hope this helps to increase CU's security arround.

  19. when's the

    obligatory emergency meeting by the black student union about the racial tension that prezbo has caused with his introduction to ahmadinejad? i'm waiting.

  20. anon  

    My apartment on the block faces amsterdam; I walked past it before the cops showed up, and my roomate saw/heard it from our window.

    For some time, radio perfecto hosts and promotes a party on saturdays for, for lack of a more specific term, people from out of the neighborhood, mostly harlem. Every saturday at around 3AM when it lets out there is yelling and fighting on the street. I guess this will change that and make radio perfecto revert to locals only.

    I don't feel unsafe at all. Just depressed.

  21. anon  

    Last night I was at pimpton till 2:30, walked past radio perfecto to 1020 and could not help to notice that when passing radio perfecto that everyone was of color. We were two white girls walking as fast as we could. We missed the shooting by 15-30 mins. we saw police cars flying down amsterdam, but we didn't think anything of it. I feel really lucky.

  22. hmmm.  

    statistics site for 1997. it seems that the racist people are actually kinda right...55% wow!

  23. ivy education  

    One of the three owners of Radio is a well educated black lawyer who grew up in the projects. Radio holds hip-hop nights that are promoted on a regular basis as a way of trying to have a positive impact on the black community.

    Saturday night was one of those nights. Just as the original posting said, there was an argument between a couple guys, then their friends tried to break it up, then their friends got into arguments, and the situation snowballed from there. A shot was fired, someone was killed, fist fights broke out, another shot was fired, and shortly thereafter everyone fled.

    Some of the guys running away were trying to take their friend who was shot, but he was already dead, or at least unconscious as they pulled the arms of his limp body.

    Girls were crying hysterically and calling for help, and a lot of friends were clearly angry and upset that a stupid argument took their friends life.

    I don't know if the victim was the intended target, but I do know he is dead and will be missed. In the early morning a woman drove up to the scene and was crying hysterically as she saw her loved one covered with a white sheet on the sidewalk. Maybe this was his sister or cousin who got a phone call at 5 am.

    Unfortunately this incident will probably lead to more people dying, as the shooting happened within a crowd of people and fighting ensued. More mothers are going to receive phone calls about their son's being shot and killed, more brothers, sisters, and cousins will feel the pain of losing someone close to them, and more out of touch citizens will quote alarming crime statistics without regard to the intense pain and suffering that the victims friends are going through.

    All because of inflated egos and trivial arguments.

  24. Vecino  

    Its kind of hard to believe that someone has the cold blood to kill someone over an argument (whatever it was nothing can allow you to take other's live). Again intolerance brings violence and the price to pay is to high.

  25. Juan

    According to the NY Times, 60% of both murder victims and murder suspects in New York this year so far have been black. Blacks make up only 30% of the population of New York.

    No other minority is disproportionately involved in murder in the City, not even other poor minority groups, like Hispanics. Just saying

  26. Why  

    I don't understand why, someone looking for a good night out at a bar, would carry a gun along with him. What the fuck are you carrying that along for.

    • alf

      It could be that the person with the gun grew up not in Brentwood, Shaker Heights or Scarsdale but in Compton, East Cleveland or Harlem. Life in a poor urban community is not easy. People feel they need to carry a gun to protect themselves. In this case with tragic consequences.

      • X.J.  

        I can understand why people would want to carry a weapon when they go certain places, but even people who grow up in rough neighborhoods should know that it's a bad idea to bring a gun along to a night of drinking at a club. A knife would be fine, but things tend to escalate rather quickly when you've got a gun.

        In this case, though, it sounds like the offended party either left to go get his gun and came back, or called one of his friends to come over with the gun.

  27. Carla

    I live in the area and know that the crowd that frequents RP on Saturday nights can be a little rough. I find it interesting though that people would automatically assume none of the crowd was Columbia affiliated because they were black. I'm black AND a Columbia alum.

  28. Its just

    too bad that it wasn't a white guy that was shot. Maybe then Columbia would think again about how it has benefited so greatly from oppression and a colonialist past that puts minorities' backs against the wall. That guy wouldn't have had a gun in the first place if Columbia actually would attempt to improve the surrounding neighborhood. Manhattanville will only result in more minorities having to carry firearms. This campus would get along a lot better with the surrounding neighborhood if it wasn't so pale.

    • Anonymous

      "That guy wouldn't have had a gun in the first place if Columbia actually would attempt to improve the surrounding neighborhood."
      -Right, that makes 100% sense..nope. It is not Columbia's responsibility, nor in its power, to make everyone in upper Manhattan act within the law. No such agency can do so, unfortunately. Life does not work in such a linear way as one would hope, where Columbia takes care of Manhattanville=no fatal shooting at Radio Perfecto. Indeed, I have noticed that the crowd there often gets rowdy at night-I once called the cops at 4 AM to break up a street fight right there. As for the racial statistics, who cares? Arguing over such things would do any good. What is important is reducing the number of times in which people walk into bars carrying weapons-to zero.

    • Rationality  

      Wow, you really need to stop drinking the Malcolm X/Marxist kool-aid. It's messing with your ability to reason. I'll bet you're one of the idiots who interpreted Columbus Day as an opportunity to stage a "protest" on anti-colonialism. Good luck in your ill-fated crusade; too bad no one at Columbia will support you, except maybe the BSO.

      Regardless of the race of the shooter, this is a tragedy. It's really too bad this had to happen. On the bright side, once Manhattanville is built there might be less of these incidents due to the further subsequent gentrification of the area (including the current gentrification under way in Harlem).

    • what?  

      you make no sense at all. columbia has definitely gentrified most of morningside heights, especially that stretch of amsterdam.

      it was a freak occurrence. this is a big city. freak occurrences happen. it has nothing to do with colonialism, oppression or racial tension.

      feel free to return to reality, we're waiting for you.

  29. Anonymous  

    I think it is truly amazing that in light of an extremely tragic incident that happened within the walls of our community, people can respond in no other way than to pull statistics from various websites that either support or intellectually dispute racist ideals. I am not naive - I realize that every incident that happens is part of a larger social picture. But please, let's let this kid exist as a person as opposed to a statistic for at least a few more hours. Someone is dead. Let's talk about how awful and tragic this is instead of using it as an excuse for a social studies project.

    • whatevar

      "within the walls of our community"

      It was on Amsterdam Ave out on the sidewalk in the densest city in North America. I am so sick of how people abuse the word "community" like some ever-expanding net that allows the speaker to suddenly involve everyone in the cause at hand.

      • swarm

        thank you for proving my point. the point isn't to break down language, analyze syntax or statistics. the point is to try to step out of your intellectual/analytical/fact-oriented tendancies to really think about what actually happened - whether it happened "within the walls of our community" or not - i did not necessarily mean it in the "kumbaya" community type of way. you don't need to recognize the fact that the incident happened inside or outside of our community to recognize the fact that it was tragic. I was merely trying to point out how disgusted I am with the fact that people are using this situation as an excuse to cite unreliable statistics and make faulty analyses, instead of thinking about how sad this situation is.

  30. Anonymous

    I meant arguing over racial statistics of homicide does would NOT do any good.

  31. to swarm  

    in that case, i don't think you should have gone to columbia. It's a school with a bunch of spoiled, bratty, overly-analytical fuckwads. aka the students that go on to make all these statistics.

    • Exactly

      You should have seen how the European majority on this campus responded to the hunger strike! Being a hunger strike supporter I was around the camp often. The second the tents went up and the struggle against racism began on our lawns there was an immediate aura of hatred that descended upon campus. I'm not worried about Radio Perfecto being a safe space; I'm worried about living with such bigots in my dorm. Hopefully we can continue to fight this racist organization more in the future and win more victories like the one we did with the hunger strike.

  32. expert says  

    anyone see any media stories on this?

    seems like this incident got buried in the snow.

  33. viewer  

    what the fuck? are they allowed to show a dead body in American newspapers? This really speaks of the journalistic integrity of the NY post...I'm disgusted by that photo, and I could only imagine that the family members of the deceased are appalled

  34. i just emailed  

    the ny post.. they removed the picture. thank god

  35. alumnus

    God, some of you posting are real dumb. Is it "illegal" to have pictures of dead bodies in newspapers??!!! Please, Columbia, start basing admissions more on grades and test scores

    • another alum

      it's dumb for someone to ask if something is illegal? I think it's a fair question if you've never studied the issue, and I hardly think we can consider this the type of thing people teach in high school. If anyone is dumb, it's you for making that statement

  36. patriot

    all because some rich plantation owners were too fucking lazy to pick their own god damn cotton.

  37. racism  

    no offense, but it's not dumb to ASK questions, it's just dumb to ask questions that prove that you're dumb. i mean, you don't have to study the legal rights of newspapers to know that they can print pictures of cadavers. you just have to read one, every now and then. that's like, ALL they do.

  38. alumnus

    damn right its dumb to ask dumb questions. Its just this kind of defense that shows me how far columbia has to go in attracting bright students to compete with HPY. You defend ignorance and lack of common sense on the grounds that it was not enumerated in your high school text book. good riddance, somebody send you to nyu. A Columbia education is wasted on you.

    • Alum

      The question wasn't as dumb as you think. There are laws against publishing photos of combat casualties and of the caskets of dead soldiers (the foermer is required by treaty, but the latter has no such justification) and someone who has not studied law can easily be uncertain of the scope of these rules.

      Also, the person who asked may not be a Columbia student. Other people use this site too.

    • damn  

      You say lack of common sense, I say someone who was raised in our newly PC world. Most domestic newspapers nowadays will not print cadaver pictures, lest children see it and get scarred for life. This is the same society that has Cookie Monster saying cookies are just a sometimes food and eating carrot sticks, because our delicate children will get fat if they see such a bad role model. So no, I wouldn't expect an 18-20-year-old to know that something like this is legal, because they weren't raised in the more
      anything goes' world that slightly older (23+) people were raised in. When it comes to PC-mania, a few childhood years makes a huge difference.

    • also  

      If you're gonna sling around the ignorance mud, you might want to educate yourself on the difference between its and it's. I'm just saying.

    • another alum

      I'm not defending it on the grounds that it's not in a text book. I'm just talking about it on the same criteria that YOU introduced. You stated Columbia should focus admissions more on grades. What are grades a reflection of if not what you're told in high school?

      And even if you do read the paper, you may not know that they can print pictures of corpses. I read the WaPo and NYT fairly often, (not counting the other sites like CNN, MSNBC, etc) and I can't remember the last time I saw them print a picture of a corpse of the average person on the street. I have seen them with regard to the war but not in other contexts.

  39. Curious  

    I live right around the block from Radio Perfecto and I heard about it when I was passing by Sunday morning. I just moved to the area so I;m not used to this type of stuff happening. However what confuses me is that I haven't seen anything on the television news or any other media site outside of Does this type of stuff happen so much that they don't always report it? I've been watching the news and I just keep hearing about attempted murders in new jersey and fires where no one was hurt. Why don't they want to inform people about this incident? This website has been the most informative. I mean I didn't even get that email from columbia- just a notice on our building door. And now there is more police and crime tape across the street. Am I just supposed to get use to this?

  40. I think  

    that this entire situation is ignored on racial lines. Had it been a white person who was shot, the entire story would change. Had it been a columbia student, we would have a national scandal on our hands, especially if the student was white. Furthermore, look at the nypost article; the headline mentions columbia, and it implies that it happened in a white neighborhood. Had this occurred down the street in the real harlem, we wouldn't see anything in the news. It isn't news until a white person is involved. Example from family guy:

    Reporters: what happened?

    Cop: We have news that the deceased is named Becky Gunderson.

    Reports: [responding anxiously]

    Cop: Oh wait, sorry the name is Becky Gutierrez

    Reporters: That's not news.

  41. Curious  

    If that's really the case then I guess I'm more naive then I thought. I'm one of those small town white girls that doesn't think racism occurs. I guess I thought a murder was a murder and we'd see a tv interview with the victim's crying mother no matter their race.

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