After making a murderous run out on Long Island, city authorities are very leery of MS-13’s movements, as the San Salvador-based clan has been active in places like Corona, Queens, and Parkchester in the Bronx, though they have yet to venture into the ‘hood.

An afternoon drive-by earlier this month–in which three alleged MS-13 members were hit reportedly by Latin King members–has got some agencies and Queens residents on high alert.

The crackling sound of erupting gunfire sent startled school children and their chaperones scurrying for cover as they headed home from their study sessions at nearby P.S. 82 and M.S. 217 in Jamaica, Queens, on March 1. During the brazen afternoon attempted murders, three young men were wounded in a Wendy’s parking lot at the busy intersection of 89th Avenue and 139th Street near Jamaica Avenue. Police say the violent act was fueled by feuding street crews.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown commented afterward, “Like in so many different boroughs, we have a gang problem here. It turns out that apparently it is a dispute between the MS-13 gang and the Latin Kings. It’s something that the police are very much on top of.”

One victim was reportedly shot in his left leg, while another was hit twice in the right leg and the third was hit in the right arm. One of them, a 17-year-old, was treated at Jamaica Hospital while the other two, both age 20, were taken to New York Hospital’s Flushing, Queens, branch.

“Fortunately, the three people who were struck, none of them are likely to die,” said Brown.

Witnesses say a tan Toyota Corolla with tinted windows pulled up to the fast-food eatery’s parking lot a bit past 3 p.m., whereupon the Latin Kings inside the vehicle started spraying bullets at the reputed MS-13 members, then fled northbound on Queens Boulevard.

“Everybody scattered,” explained 43-year-old David Rosado, who was inside the franchise when the shots occurred.

While gang violence is not new to that community, the location and time of the daring daytime gunplay surprised a few.

“It’s very troublesome,” the district attorney said. “It’s a crowded area…kids were coming out of school.”

Concerned local resident Edward Sanchez, 28, added: “It’s always crowded here with kids, not even kids, regular people.”

Neighbors have been very vocal regarding the escalating street activity as of late.

“The last couple of weeks, there’s been a lot of gangs,” revealed one adolescent. “Lots of fights.”

Investigators said there have been no arrests made yet.

“Crime scene detectives are here on the scene following up on any leads,” Brown stated.

Authorities suggest MS-13 is unlike other ethnic gangs, whose disputes usually are due to money and/or territory. They have been known to battle rivaling gangs but don’t have the clout or organization that the Latin Kings or Netas had years ago.

While they have a fearsome reputation, New York affiliates are said to be more tame. One police source commented: “The MS-13 here in New York City are not as deadly as the ones on the West Coast. There’s a lot of infighting and sexual-oriented initiations, not too many homicides. They’re off the radar, real secretive.”

Many feel that the shooting is a chilling indication of the increasing inner-city gang presence.