“Police, freeze!” Homicide detective Jack Harmon yelled, but Gerry Gaston fired two shots at Jack and his partner, Diane Mitchell, and took off down 28th Street. The detectives returned fire and went after him.
The detectives wanted to question Gaston about the murder of Dean Stowe, a dancer at Mansion Strip Club, which billed itself as the craziest male strip show in Manhattan, where you didn’t need to be a bachelorette or birthday girl to have fun. Gaston was also a suspect in the murder of four other men that worked at other clubs around the city. They had gotten a tip that Gaston would be at Mansion.
The detectives had staked out the spot for two days before they got lucky and saw Gaston moving toward the entrance. Jack and Mitchell jumped out of their vehicle and approached the suspect. They weren’t expecting him to open fire on them, but Gaston did as soon as they identified themselves.
Gaston pulled out his gun and fired before running inside the club. The show, which started at nine, was in full swing, and the place was packed with women. He pushed his way through the crowd. Jack and Mitchell split up. Jack continued to follow him through the crowd, while Mitchell went around by the bar and tried to cut him off before he made it backstage, and out the back door.