Officers uncovered a grisly scene outside a Brooklyn pawn shop early Thursday after a 911 caller discovered a woman’s dismembered torso that had been stuffed into a shopping cart.
The unidentified body had been placed in a large bag that was inside the shopping cart, police said. It was found in a mostly industrial section of East New York in Brooklyn near Broadway Junction, where elevated roads and subway lines crisscross storefronts and warehouses near a boardwalk entrance.
Police released few details except to say the investigation was ongoing and the medical examiner would determine the cause of death.
On Thursday, a yellow tape of police surrounded the pawnshop – its steel shutters down – on the northwest corner of Pennsylvania and Atlantic avenues, with detectives and uniformed officers crowding inside the cordon , denying shoppers entry to a small building supply store on Atlantic Avenue that was also behind The Ribbon.
“I understand there was a horrible incident,” construction store owner Sung Hong said as he stepped out to inspect the scene.
Mr Hong, 64, said an employee called around 7 a.m. to say the police would not let him open the store. He said he arrived at the store an hour later from his Long Island home, and it took another half hour to beg officers to be allowed in.
A native of South Korea, who has lived in New York for 36 years and operated what he calls “a family store” for five years, Mr Hong said the news has added to his concerns about crime in New York, These statements have already been exacerbated by a series of violent attacks against people of Asian origin like him.
“It’s getting worse and worse,” he said, thinking aloud that the Covid pandemic was contributing to an increase in violent crime. “I don’t know what’s going on. It’s like people have gone crazy.
Police had also taped two other sidewalk areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, one north of the intersection and one to the south, but by late morning only the intersection near the pawnshop remained off-limits.