Brazen Shootout In Broad Daylight On Crowded Sidewalk In Upper Manhattan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A brazen shootout was caught on camera in broad daylight this week in Upper Manhattan.

It happened shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday on Audubon Avenue near West 174th Street in Washington Heights.

Surveillance video shows two gunmen exchanged fire on a crowded sidewalk as people and cars passed by.

The chaos quickly cleared the area. Fortunately, no one was hurt in the shooting.

“I was scared, after I saw all that happened,” said Basel Elayah, a bodega worker who wisely retreated to the back of his store.

The bodega where Elayah works provided police with security video, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.

Detectives watched the tape and recognized the gunmen.

Guillermo Vargas (left), Ivan Montes (right) (Credit: NYPD)

Police said they’re searching for 48-year-old Guillermo Vargas and 19-year-old Ivan Montes.

Vargas is described as 5 feet 9 inches tall, 200 pounds, bald and last seen wearing a gray shirt and black pants. According to police, video showed him firing a gun overhead, and then firing another shot as he ran.

Montes is 5 feet 7 inches tall, 135 pounds, bald and last seen wearing a red shirt, black pants, black and red sneakers, with a bag across his torso. Police have a picture of Montes drinking a bottle of water in the area before the shooting happened.

Police have not established a motive for the shootout, but there is talk in the neighborhood that whatever provoked it was minor.

“It was over water! It started over a bottle of water,” said Elaya.

Vargas and Montes each face a top charge of reckless endangerment when they’re caught.

Residents are grateful the bullets struck objects and not people.

Yaselyn Then, who lives in Washington Heights, told CBS2 she regularly walks along the busy avenue with her 7-year-old daughter.

“This is not safe at all,” said Then.

*story by CBS New York