HUNTINGTON STATION - Community members want to know why a suspect who allegedly shot a Suffolk police officer was on the streets in the first place.
Sheldon Leftenant, 22, is accused of shooting Suffolk Police Officer Mark Collins following a traffic stop in Huntington Station. Prosecutors say Leftenant, who was out on probation, is a known gang member.
Leftenant was sentenced to one year in prison and five years’ probation in connection to a November 2011 shooting. At the time, prosecutors say there was no evidence Leftenant was the shooter.
“Are they putting away people that are going to cause violence in this community?” asks Matt Harris, of Huntington Station.
The commanding officer of Collins’ precinct, Inspector Edward Brady, says he's transferred two additional officers to the gang unit in response to the shooting. He also says officers plan to continue the Huntington Station Violence Initiative, which began last summer.
“I think it's progressing very well,” says Brady. “So far, we've made 724 arrests, 91 of which are gang members.”