Society

New York Man Drunkenly Shoots Brother, Ditches Gun With Neighbor

| by Allison Geller

A night of drunken holiday revelry didn’t end well for two brothers in Brooklyn, New York. Jose Miranda accidentally shot his sibling Gregorio Miranda-Cruz — and then tried to stick a neighbor with the weapon.

Miranda, 49, and Miranda-Cruz, 49, returned to the apartment they shared in Bushwick after going out drinking on Christmas Eve. Miranda took a loaded Smith & Weston 9 mm handgun from his dresser while looking for a change of clothes. The gun accidentally went off, hitting his brother in the hip.

Miranda ran to his upstairs neighbor and tried to ditch the gun. “Take this,” he told him, according to court papers.

“I screwed up and made a mistake,” he said by way of explanation.

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The neighbor, Jonathan Espinosa, 28, refused to take the weapon, but Miranda put it on his stove and left.

“He was panicked,” Espinosa said. “You can tell when a person is nervous (and) anxious. He told me ‘Please, do me a favor, call the cops.’”

He did, and Miranda-Cruz was rushed to the emergency room. He underwent surgery for the wound the bullet left after striking his hip, bladder, and lower intestine before exiting out his stomach.

At first Miranda-Cruz told police that he had been shot by a stranger on the street, reports the New York Daily News. The real story surfaced, though, when Miranda was identified as the shooter. He was arrested on assault, reckless endangerment, and criminal possession of a weapon charges on Christmas morning and held on $50,000 bail.

The brothers reportedly came to New York together from Puerto Rico three months ago. Relatives confirm that the shooting was an accident.

“It was an accident, it wasn’t intentional,” said Miranda’s stepson from his bedside at the hospital. The brothers' landlady also called the two men "close."