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Residents of Queens Village and Rosedale were in shock over the loss of two neighbors killed in a pair of unrelated shootings in Jamaica over the weekend.
At 1:38 a.m. Saturday, police from the 113th Precinct responded to a call of a man shot at Inwood Street and Rockaway Boulevard. At the scene, they found Brian Gonzales, 17, dead with a gunshot wound to the head.
Police had not made any arrests and the investigation was still ongoing as of press time Tuesday night.
Gonzales’ family could not be reached for comment.
On Monday, tearful neighbors of Gonzales were mourning the teen’s unexpected death.
“Brian was a great person. I don’t understand how this could have happened to him,” said Bree Allen, 18, a close friend, neighbor and former junior high school classmate of Gonzales.
At his Queens Village home on 208th Street, Gonzales’ family and friends set up a makeshift memorial to him containing a piece of oak tag with words of praise and tribute placed against his bedroom window.
“It’s sad how someone could be in front of you one day and gone the next,” Allen said.
The following day, at 3:49 a.m., an unidentified gunman fired multiple shots at Joscelyn Francis, 27, in front of a Subway sandwich shop at 127th Avenue and Merrick Boulevard, leaving his body to soak in the rain.
The police arrived moments later and pronounced Francis dead.
Francis, a husband and father of three, moved into his Rosedale home a few months ago, leaving neighbors little time to get to know him.
“I’m so surprised and upset that this happened to him. He was quiet, but seemed like a very nice man,” said a neighbor who requested to only be identified only as Monet.
“He seemed like a good guy, I can’t believe this,” said a neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous.
Unlike those near his Rosedale home on 148th Road, residents and workers in the vicinity of where Francis’ shooting occurred were not taken aback by recent neighborhood violence.
“It can be pretty quiet around here, but it also gets really rowdy from time to time,” said Orrin Barodell, an employee at the Subway shop near where Francis was killed.
“It gets bad around here, but people get shot everyday. What’s the use of being scared?” said Robert Pemberton, 55, who has been a Jamaica resident for seven years.
Authorities urge anyone with information on these crimes to call Crimestoppers at 1-866-313-TIPS (8477).
Ivan Pereira also contributed to this story.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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