September 7, 2013 A man accused of fatally shooting a woman inside a Bohemia motel traded gunfire with two Suffolk officers at close range early Saturday before being captured, police said.
The officers, who were not injured, were responding to a 4:50 a.m. call about a shooting in a room at MacArthur Inn, 4444 Veterans Memorial Hwy., police said.
When the officers went to the room and knocked, a man opened the door and opened fire with a handgun, said Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, homicide unit commander.
The Fifth Precinct officers, whose names were withheld, ducked for cover behind cars in the parking lot and returned fire. The suspect fled and was captured in a wooded area after a brief pursuit, Fitzpatrick said.
“The officers were incredibly fortunate to escape without being shot,” he said. “It was a point-blank gun battle.”
The suspect, identified as Stoker Olukotun Williams, 24, of Bay Shore, was treated for an arm wound at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center in East Patchogue and released into police custody.
Olukotun Williams was charged Saturday night with second-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder, police said. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sunday at First District Court in Central Islip.
Inside the motel room, officers found the victim, Shalece Cunningham, 24, of Bay Shore, who had been shot in the head, Fitzpatrick said. Two female acquaintances of the victim were also in the room, but they were unharmed.
Fitzpatrick did not disclose the nature of the relationship between Olukotun Williams and Cunningham, or provide a motive for the killing.
“We believe there was criminal activity going on in that room,” he said without elaborating.
A motel worker who declined to give her name said the room was registered to a Copiague woman who checked in Friday shortly after 2:30 a.m. and paid $80 in cash for the night.
The motel, which advertises “day rates” and “mirrored rooms,” is about a mile from Long Island MacArthur Airport.
A motel resident, Craig Kellaher, 42, said he was watching TV in his room about 5 a.m. when he heard about seven shots. He said he went outside to see what was happening, saw a police car and heard someone shout, “Get down!”
Sabrina Urbancik, 26, who has lived at the motel for the last four months with her husband and four kids, said she spent most of the day “locked down” in her room as police investigated the shootings.
She said she wasn’t shocked by the violence. “It’s actually kind of usual around here — sad to say,” she said.