Growing violence at NYC smoke shops

A murder at a Harlem smoke shop over the weekend is just the latest in a string of violent incidents at New York City smoke shops.

NEW YORK – A spate of citywide smoke shop robberies has police and residents on heightened alert.

The most recent one, which happened over the weekend at Level Up Exotics on 125th Street in Harlem, has left a 42-year-old man dead.

According to the NYPD, 28th Precinct officers responded to a call reporting a man shot inside the store at around 10:00 Saturday night with gunshot wounds to his neck and stomach.

The victim, identified by police as Alfred Johnson, was rushed to the hospital where he died from his injuries.

Surveillance video obtained by Fox 5 shows people sprinting out of the store and down the block to safety.

Investigators canvassed the area with flashlights, placed evidence markers on the ground and questioned workers at nearby businesses.

Smoke shops, especially those selling illegal products, have become common targets due to their cash-only nature.

Earlier this month, the NYPD released pictures of robbers threatening workers at the Hubble Bubble Smoke Shop on Avenue P in Brooklyn before taking off with a stash of money and CBD products.

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