zabar's shooting
Photo by Valerie.

A 48-year-old man shot himself in the leg with a gun while waiting in line at Zabar’s around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, according to police, witnesses and reports. After fleeing the scene, the man headed west on 80th street, tossed the gun in Riverside Park and checked himself into Roosevelt Hospital on 59th street.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the man was attempting to pay for a bagel. The Journal’s report said the shooting occurred at 9:20 a.m., while a police spokesman told us it was called in at 8:41 a.m. Based on our other reporting, it does appear the shooting occurred before 9 a.m.

“Police believe [Louis] Leston Anderson was reaching into his pocket to pay for breakfast at the popular Upper West Side cafe when the gun accidentally discharged,” the Journal reported. “In an interview with investigators at the hospital, Mr. Anderson, whose last known address is in Brooklyn, told investigators that he is homeless and found the gun near the Lincoln Tunnel at 39th Street while searching for cardboard, the official said. Mr. Anderson, who is wanted on a bench warrant for a narcotics-related arrest, didn’t say how long he has been homeless but offered to show police where he found the gun after he is released from the hospital, the official said.”

A police spokesman said the incident is under investigation and could not confirm a report in the Daily News and the Post that the man had attempted an armed robbery.

Update, Tuesday night: The newspapers have updated their stories to remove the reference to a robbery. NYPD has confirmed to us it was an accidental discharge and the man is in custody.

gun zabar's
Photo by Stuart Rakley of the gun found in Riverside Park.

Here is what we originally published:

A shooting at Zabar’s caused police to close off the area around the store at 80th street and Broadway on Tuesday morning. Information about the shooting was still preliminary as of Tuesday morning around 10 a.m., but apparently a heavyset black man, about 5’9″ shot himself around 9:30 a.m. and then fled the building, heading westbound on 80th street. It’s not clear if the shooting was accidental or intentional.

The Daily News reports that the man is wanted in a robbery.

“Police said that a man tried to rob someone at gunpoint and accidentally shot himself inside the high end store on Broadway at W. 80th St. about 9:30 a.m. He then fled.”

Police are investigating and we will update this when we hear more.

zabars shooting2
Photo by Arif.

Thanks to everyone who sent in tips and photos.

NEWS | 75 comments | permalink
    1. Rodger Lodger says:

      Yeah, the wait at the appetizing counter has driven me crazy too.

    2. Hoozie Du Jour says:

      Serves him right.

    3. UWSHebrew says:

      Glad nobody was hurt. Upper West Side seemed to be getting better lately crime-wise , and now this. So sad we can’t be left alone by criminals who invade.

      • robert says:

        The numbers are actually worse by far.
        For example: A shots fired incident used to be just that, now it has been changed to a person having been confirmed by PD as being shot. There have been other “guideline” changes pushed on 1PP by city hall for political reasons. This keeps the numbers lower.
        Another example is the 46 in the Bronx, it was a bad precinct with a high number of stop-question and frisk’s. Violence and its underlying criminal acts were way down. You can say that most stops did not yield a weapons arrest, but it got a lot of drugs and other things off the streets, not to mention the numbers of people picked up with warrants, usually multiple warrants. Now the s/q/f numbers are down drastically and crime is up 26% plus in that area. That’s above last years double digit increase. All across the city its the same thing, crime ridden violence plagued neighborhoods that were calming down under s/q/f, no have seen an across the city spike. You can overly the precincts with large drops in s/q/f have large increases in crime and violence.

    4. Parent says:

      Please share with friends in the neighborhood and be aware of your surroundings! This person has not been apprehended.

    5. Ellen says:

      Oh oh, Zabar’s is one of my favorite stops for AM coffee, workers so nice there.Good noone was injured (excepting the shooter). Guns/ mental illness – hope things will get better, all great cities have to rethink policies…

    6. Kathleen says:

      No need for gun regulation, btw. Of course not.

      • Robert says:

        We have some of the toughest gun laws in the country and the bad guys still can get guns. No amount of well meaning laws will stop criminals from getting guns. While their needs to ne sensible regulation i.e. no one with criminal background, domestic violence, mental health issues etc having a gun. People should be able to get and/or own guns-period full stop. The NRA has for years supported a “instant check” system, this would be a federally issued ID that could be swiped like a credit card. It would check all 50 states, territories etc as well as terror watch lists, Interpol etc. We have this in Canada and it works great. It also cross-references with mental health records.
        If you commit a crime, come down with certain mental issues, commit domestic violence etc. your ID is flagged and the RCMP will come get your guns until things are shorted out.
        This has been tried to be implanted here several times but the ALCU and co. have always gotten it killed due to “medical privacy” issues, we should have privacy in our medical records but this is a larger issue of public safety. Just think of Newtown CT. If this system had been in place, his mental treatment history would have flagged his mothers purchase of the guns as he lived with her.

        • dr phil says:

          What planet are you from, i.e. “We have some of the toughest gun laws…” The USA has the loosest restrictions on murder weapons (AKs and their ilk) of any nation in the world. Even we used to outlaw them, but the gun lobby righters killed the outlaw bill because they wanted to obliterate deer, rabbits and squirrels with semi-automatic weapons. We need gun laws equal to the rest of the world!

          • robert says:

            I was referring to NYS and NYC as part of the persons comment I was responding to. Other ex of tight gun laws and high crime/violence are Baltimore, Oakland, LA, Phil, New Orleans and of course Chicago and DC

          • Kev says:

            You ellipseed before you got your answer: “in the country.”

    7. Mike says:

      Look, we all know the lox is to die for, but this is ridiculous!

    8. Paul RL says:

      I know the schmaltz herring is to die for, but..

    9. Wendy says:

      That must be all the helicopter sounds I’m hearing right now.

    10. Robert Levit says:

      A day after Orlando it makes you wonder.

    11. Cato says:

      For whatever it’s worth, I was in Zabar’s (main store) this morning and left at 9:10. I checked my watch to see what time I would get to work.

      The corner was already roped off and police on the scene, so whatever happened must have been over and done by 9:10 AM.

      • anon says:

        this, exactly. I walked by on my way to the subway at 9:15 and around the police tape. Could see the crowd of investigators inside the store. Definitely happened before 9:20am

    12. AC says:

      If indeed true that he shot himself, follow the blood trail . . . most likely hiding under one of the underpasses within Riverside Park, but I’d bet he’s tending to his wound in the garage beneath the 79 street Boat Basin. Send the dogs!

    13. Mhass says:

      Imagine more people could obtain guns. Anywhere.

    14. JeffS says:

      Please report on updates. Did the shooter go to an ER? Has he been apprehended yet? Thanks.

    15. Ben David says:

      They caught him, according to NY Daily News.
      The sad truth is that he had a gun in his pocket, but if a police officer had seen a bulge in his pocket and suspected him, the cop would not stop him under the new rules. Especially out of fear of being called racist. Thank you, De Blasio and thank you, New York City Council, for making it safe to carry guns and knives.

      • Mark says:

        Thank Daniel Pantaleo and abusive police officers who make it hard for good cops and turn everybody against the NYPD

        • Mel says:

          Unless you listen to the cops and do what you are told, I don’t really care about the outcome. That’s my opinion. Make it a mandatory 10 year sentence for not complying with police orders. Things are just getting ridiculous.

          • Mark says:

            A lot of cops abuse their power because they (wrongfully) assume the Mayor and other people in the administration will back them up, regardless of the severity of the abuse. Thank god those days are over, what Rudy Giuliani did to Patrick Dorismond was despicable. The other day a plainclothes cop pulled out his service weapon to threaten a bike messenger he almost his with his car and cause a whole elementary school to go on lock down. I hope the officer is punished severely! Just like I hope those officers who engaged in a high speed chase through Riverside Park for marijuana are. Police work for US and if they are giving people unlawful orders, I believe and Isupport people questioning them and making sure they are behaving themselves. RIP Eric Garner.

          • dannyboy says:

            “Make it a mandatory 10 year sentence for not complying with police orders.”

            Prefer fascism, police state?

      • UWS-er says:

        Not that this will matter to you, but that’s completely untrue. What police can’t do anymore is simply stop people and frisk them based on race. They CAN stop people who match a description of someone or who are fleeing a crime scene or who are obviously carrying a gun. I mean, c’mon. At least try to be honest.

        • Lorraine says:

          Thank you! I’m not crazy about DiBlasio, but this one is tiresome. They are, however, doing a horrible job of communicating what the S&F changes were.

        • Cato says:

          Perhaps they CAN, as you say, but WILL they?

          Of course not. Why go looking for administrative trouble, lawsuits, degrading from “advocates”, vehement protest marches, and the like?

          “I didn’t see anything — did *you* see anything?”

          Welcome to the Brave New World.

        • Christine E says:

          Police have told me that they can’t do anything unless the person is already committing a crime. So they encouraged me to keep track of the known neighborhood “bad guys” and report when they are taking a dog to the playground or smoking in a park or some other minor infraction. Because only then the police will be allowed to frisk, check the person’s backpack, etc.

          • bystander says:

            That person should not be on the police force. Police have to have probable cause to stop and frisk. The outline of a concealed weapon is always probable cause in New York. Race is not probable cause. As UWS-er notes, not that this will matter to anyone. Blaming Mayor DiBlasio for obeying court ordered revamp of procedures and stopping the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars in lawsuits each year is a pathetic line of attack.

            • robert says:

              The ENTIRE court order was going to be vacated due to judicial misconduct on the part of the Judge. She was found to have committed several major ethics infractions, The Judge was removed from the case, a very very rare thing by the appeals court and reprimanded. She was moved to an “admin” post and they agreed not to go further with charges if she resigned/retired quietly. Which she has done and kept her pension.

              Then de Blaz came into power and told everyone to a abide by the court order. Which by the way from a legal standing has no force of law as it has been vacated. de Blaz and co. entered into a consent decree that went much further than the court order.
              And low and behold we have precincts weigh a large drop in s/q/f and a corresponding exponential rise in crime. For example the 46 precinct was up 26.06% since 2 years ago and since January its up again, 30.82%. Its the same in most of the Bronx, much of Manhattan North and parts of Brooklyn.

        • Ben David says:

          You are wrong. Cops are too scared to stop people now. You obviously don’t talk with them ‘off the record.’ I do. Most will not stop question and frisk for ANY reason.

          • Mark says:

            Because over %90 of the people who were frisked were completely innocent. Read about Adrien Schoolcraft or talk to any person of color who was in the city for the past 10 years and they will tell you ALL ABOUT how wrong Stop and Frisk was. Kids were abused, threatened, and thrown in jail for days to languish only to have a judge throw the garbage charges out and the kid walked. The police made their own bed, they can enjoy lying in it for a while. NOBODY feels bad for them. RIP Eric Garner.

            • Cato says:

              Who’s talking about feeling bad for the police? We’re feeling bad for the law-abiding citizens whom the police can no longer protect by getting guns out of the hands of the madmen and off the streets.

              Even under your formulation, the remaining 10% still have their guns, and have probably armed their friends. It’s the rest of us who are in danger. Who’s feeling sorry for the police?

              Let’s all just wear Kevlar when we go to Zabar’s so we don’t have to inconvenience innocent people to explain that bulge in their waistbands.

        • Ben David says:

          My comment of “you are wrong” is for UWS-er. The FACT is that gun arrests are down, now that stop question and frisk in no longer used out of fear of punishment and charges of racism. Sorry, but there are facts that you may wish to quote.

          • UWS-er says:

            Er, your “off-the-record” conversations with cops don’t quality as facts. Again, a cop seeing a guy fleeing a shooting with a gun-shaped bulge in his pocket would be afraid to do anything? That’s not remotely believable and you know it. You can (and should) criticize De Blasio for all sorts of things, but you don’t need to exaggerate the truth to do so.

        • Mel says:

          That is BS. Police were never allowed to consider race with stop and frisk.

      • S. Z. says:

        Hateful comment! You must be a friend of the “Donald” Try being constructive; “part of the solution”, You appear to be part of the national negativity & hysteria!

    16. ursus arctos says:

      Wall Street Journal demonstrates an inability to distinguish between Riverside Drive and the non-existent “Riverside Avenue” (not even Riverside Boulevard).

    17. Ariel Devine says:

      Does anyone know if the gun was recovered from Riverside Park??

    18. Judide says:

      maybe the line at Trader Joes could drive a person to that, but Zabars?

    19. AC says:

      SO to sum up. ALL REPORTS CONFIRM, this was NOT a robbery, but the careless act of an individual. Would like to add that this poor judgment (to carry a concealed weapon around your waistband) – is no different than what NFLer Plaxico Burress or Russian wedding guest at the Waldorf Astoria exercised.

      Goes to show, homeless or rich, stupidity does not discriminate!

      Lets move forward and continue to support our community businesses.

      • Cato says:

        All the while wondering whether that person next to you, or behind you, or in front of you, is one of those with a loaded gun in his waistband, waiting to go off into his foot — or my chest, or your head.

        Thanks, but no thanks. This is a real issue and can’t be dismissed to one moron’s stupidity.

    20. Dean says:

      He was ordering the lox and loaded bagel.

    21. UWS Dept of Comment says:


      he accidentally carried a gun
      he accidentally took it out
      he accidentally aimed it at himself
      he accidentally pulled the trigger.


      …paging Dr. Freud!!

    22. Betsy says:

      I found these two quotes in yesterday’s New York Post. Rather, blasé, I would say, especially with Orlando so fresh in our minds:

      “Everybody is fine, nobody got hurt. It’s New York, stuff happens all the time,” said Zabar’s general manager for 39 years, Scott Goldshine. “It was just an accident.”

      “Zabar’s longtime owner, Saul Zabar, said the only thing Anderson was guilty of Tuesday was being hungry.”

      • dannyboy says:

        Zabar Spin. Shootings are bad for business.

      • Mel says:

        Well, maybe Mr Zabar ought to think a little further down the road than just his store. For example, just what was this man going to do with this loaded gun once he left the store? That day, the next day? What did he have planned in his noggin? Maybe a catastrophe for an innocent person? These people (i.e., people who carry concealed guns) and their guns are ruining lives of REAL people everyday. These news stories for us are REAL horror stories for some REAL person. This person should be put away for a very long time. Why are we so lenient about this stuff? Guilty of being hungry???

      • Mel says:

        I guess there is no such thing as a bad customer, right ?

    23. P M Dodd says:

      Zabars! is nothing sacred? All the years in my low budget sleep on the floor visits to NYC , Balduchies in the village and Zabars in the upper West were mandatory visits.