Incident Summary:

12/08/1995: An assailant attacked Freddy's Fashion Mart in Harlem, New York City, New York, United States. The assailant, identified as Roland James Smith (aka Aboudima Moulika), was armed with a .38 caliber revolver and a canister of paint thinner. He shot and wounded four people before barricading himself and others inside the building and starting a fire that destroyed the first floor of the building. Smith shot and killed himself, and the fire killed seven others who were trapped in the store. Smith had been among protesters picketing the store in an ongoing landlord-tenant dispute with neighboring stores, which some protesters viewed as racially motivated. Witnesses reported that Smith carried out the attack because he mistakenly believed that the owner of the store was engaging in racially discriminatory hiring practices.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:

New York

New York City

Location Details:
125th Street

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Business
Name of Entity Freddy's Fashion Mart
Specific Description Store
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 7
US Hostages 6
Hours of Kidnapping 1
Outcome Hostage(s) killed (not during rescue attempt)
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Major (likely > $1 million but < $1 billion)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Weapon Details
A .38-caliber revolver and paint thinner.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information The victims who were wounded included employees Alan Grossberg, 35 and Isadew Chartan; and construction workers Patrick Glenn, 32 and Fronan O'Shea. The victims who were killed were store employees: Kareem Brunner, 23; Garnette Ramantar, 43; Olga Garcia, 19; Angelina Marrero, 19; Cynthia Martinez, 19; Luz Ramos, 21, and Mayra Rentas, 22.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Black Nationalists No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators Unknown
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 8 Fatalities / 4 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 8
Number of U.S. Fatalities 7
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 1
Total Number of Injured 4
Number of U.S. Injured 3
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
Pam Belluck, "Death on 125th Street: The Overview; Police Say Killer in Harlem Fire Was a Laborer and a Protester," The New York Times, December 11, 1995.
John Kifner, "Gunman and 7 others Die in Blaze at Harlem Store: Police See Link to Bitter Clash on Eviction," The New York Times, December 9, 1995.
John J. Goldman, "8 Die as Gunman Sets Afire N.Y. Store Tied to Dispute: Violence: Harlem shop had been target of protests over clash between white owner and another business," Los Angeles Times, December 9, 1995.