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Brooklyn Man on Trial for Shooting Teens Calls Himself a Hero
A Brooklyn father who opened fire on a group of teens with an AR-15 says he did it in self-defense.
Thomas Dunikowski, 32, fired 27 shots into a crowd of teens from his second-floor window in Marine Park in June 2011. A 17-year-old teen was shot in the neck and another was hit with bullet fragments.
Charged with multiple counts of attempted murder, Dunikowski began trial on May 30. He said his block was a “complete war zone” the night of the shooting, while dozens of drunk teens roamed the streets.
“I thought they were going to break into my house and attack my wife,” Dunikowski told the court, The Post reported.
He admitted to fire warning shots into the air with his Bushmaster AR-15 “to scare them away.”
He said he fired into the crowd when he thought he spotted a gun.
“I saw one hand with a shiny metal object ... I thought it was a gun and he made a sudden movement toward my wife,” he said.
After the shooting, he admitted he hid the assault rifle and and his clothes in an attempt to conceal evidence. But Dunikowski maintains that what he did was justified.
"I think I protected my family and my neighborhoods," he told the court.
He claims the mob of about 30 kids rallied outside his home, taunting him.
“Come out to fight like a man or we’re coming to get you,” he recalled.
Softly he told the court, “[They said,] ‘Motherf-----, now we’re coming in to kill you!’ They told my wife to suck their d----.”
Prosecutors said the confrontation escalated because of Dunikowski's actions. They allege that the teens never entered his property and that he had no grounds to open fire.
"Do you consider yourself a hero for what you did that night?" asked Assistant District Attorney John Sharples.
"Yes," Dunikowski responded.
His was the last testimony heard in the trial. Closing arguments will be made on Monday.
If convicted, Dunikowski could face up to 25 years in jail.