Archive for the tag 'deaths'

Richie Randazzo (Source: Legacy.com)

The doorman from Avenue U who won the $5 million jackpot died from lung cancer last week.

Richie Randazzo, who had been battling the disease for a year, died on November 14 at age 50. His funeral mass was held at St. Simon & St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn at 11:45am today, according to Cusimano & Russo Funeral Home.

Randazzo spent most of his life opening doors at a posh Park Avenue building until he was catapulted to tabloid fame in 2008 for winning a $10 Set For Life scratch ticket – guaranteeing him $5000 a week for life.

After his win, things got complicated for the Gravesend native. Randazzo, who described himself as “New York’s most eligible bachelor,” said he intended to keep his $40,000 a year gig as a doorman, but he was fired after going on a gambling binge with his 23-year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Sabina Johansson. Their relationship ended shortly afterwards when Johansson was busted for promoting prostitution. One of Randazzo’s dreams was to make a name for himself in reality television, but after his diagnosis, Randazzo chose to spend the rest of his time close to home, reports the New York Post:

…he kept things simple and mostly tooled around Brooklyn, fishing in Sheepshead Bay or passing time with friends at Caffe Caggiano on Avenue U.

Last year, he said he was searching for the love of his life, while also forgoing a risky surgery for lung cancer.

“Things are always going to change. When you’re on a losing streak, you have to start winning,” Randazzo said from his boyhood home in Gravesend, where he lived even after the windfall.

Randazzo’s Legacy.com page was flooded with condolences Sunday. We are sure he will be missed.

Here’s an interview with Randazzo on Fox News shortly after his win:

Source: mikey k/flickr

Source: mikey k/flickr

A dead man was found beneath Coney Island’s Riegelmann Boardwalk on Saturday, sparking an investigation into his death.

The man, who has not been identified, is described as a Hispanic man in his 40s. He was found at approximately 6:15pm near West 25th Street.

The Daily News reports that no foul play is suspected, but an autopsy will be done by the medical examiner to determine how he died.

Photo by Erica Sherman

Photo by Erica Sherman

Investigators believe the two people found dead in an Emmons Avenue apartment building yesterday afternoon ended their own lives as part of a suicide pact.

Cops responded to 3030 Emmons Avenue at approximately 12:44pm for a “wellness check” – a response to concerns from loved ones. When they arrived, they found a 43-year-old man who lived in the apartment dead on the sofa. A 44-year-old Texas woman was dead on the floor.

On the table was a plastic bag of white lumps that looked like soap pellets; the Department of Environmental Protection later confirmed the substance was the highly toxic chemical cyanide.

The man’s cell phone had the woman listed under the name “Kim Suicide,” according to the Daily News. Investigators now believe the two agreed to die together, with the Texas woman flying to the Brooklyn apartment to do the deed.

The man’s internet history showed he had researched how to use cyanide to commit suicide.

No criminality is suspected.

Warning signs of a suicide include talking about wanting to die or feeling as if you have no purpose, displaying extreme mood swings, withdrawing or becoming isolated, talking about being a burden on others, sleeping too little or too much, acting recklessly or increasing the use of drugs or alcohol. If someone you know shows these warning signs, do not leave the person alone, seek help from a medical or mental health professional, and call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). Find more information here.

homicide

Source: Gabriella M.

Update (5:30pm): A police source has confirmed to Sheepshead Bites that two people were found dead at the apartment building. Additionally, a suspicious substance believed to be cyanide was found at the scene.

Cyanide is a highly toxic chemical that, when ingested, rapidly affects the central nervous system and heart and can cause death within minutes. The presence of the chemical spurred FDNY Hazardous Materials units to be dispatched, including at least one marked “WMD.”

Our source said the investigation is ongoing, and they are not yet sure if the chemical was ingested purposely, accidentally or if foul play was involved.

Update (6:13pm): CBS News reports that the victims were a 42-year-old man and a 44-year-old woman. They were found in the living room of the apartment at approximately 12:45pm. A “suspicious substance” was found on the table near their bodies. Our source told us the NYPD currently believes it is cyanide, but will not know until it has been tested.

Our tipster, Gabriella M., told us the bodies were found on the 5th floor, leading to the evacuation.

Original post:

We are receiving tips about a large police presence at 3030 Emmons Avenue, a large rental building near Haring Street.

Neighbors who live in the building say two individuals were found dead in an apartment in the building at approximately 2:3opm today. As of 5:00pm, there remains a heavy police presence at the scene.

Source: Tipster

Source: Gabriella M.

Homicide detectives have been spotted, as well as Emergency Services Units, the NYPD’s version of a SWAT team, and Hazmat units.

No homicide has been confirmed, and at least one neighbor contradicted rumors of murder, saying it may have been drug overdoses.

The floor of the building in which the bodies were rumored to have been found was evacuated by police, according to our tipster.

Source: Albert D

We’ve reached out to the NYPD and will update as more information becomes available.

This is a breaking news story and may contain inaccuracies. We will update it as more information becomes available. If anyone has more information or additional photos, please send them to tips (at) sheepsheadbites (dot) com.

Source: Albert D

Source: Matt Y

Source: Matt Y

Avenue U's N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Avenue U’s N line station. (Source: Google Maps)

Early morning straphangers made a gruesome find Saturday after a man hanged himself at Avenue U’s N line subway station in Gravesend.

The man was found hanging by a “thick rope” at about 3:35am, police told the Daily News. The rope was tied to the staircase on the Manhattan-bound side of the platform, Gothamist adds. Conflicting reports indicate he was either 22 or 25 years old.

His identity was not released, but police believe it was a suicide and are still investigating, though no criminality is suspected.

The scene was cleaned up quickly. Neighbors who rode the train at the station just hours after said they were unaware of the incident until reports surfaced later in the day.

Sea Park Apartments (Source: Google Maps)

Sea Park Apartments (Source: Google Maps)

A 19-year-old man is charged with second degree murder in connection with the September 3 shooting death of a Coney Island man.

Jalik Banks, 19, was collared by cops yesterday and charged with second degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. He lives in the Surfside Houses, a New York City Housing Authority development two blocks away from the scene of the crime.

Banks is accused of killing George Carmona, 23, on September 3. As we reported at the time, Carmona was found in the hallway of the Sea Park Apartments at 2980 West 28th Street just just after 8:00pm with a gunshot wound to his head.

He was declared dead at the scene.

Police did not say how the suspect knew the victim.

70 Pct Suspect Knife 1Rafael Laureano, 51, who owned Spartan Health Club (1166 Coney Island Avenue), died when he was hit by a bullet from police officers who were firing at a knife-wielding man who had attacked Laureano and his girlfriend at an Ocean Parkway apartment Monday night, the city medical examiner said.

The city medical examiner’s office told us that Laureano died from a “perforating gunshot wound of the back.”

Katarzyna Russo had been with her two young children at her apartment at 820 Ocean Parkway when Francisco Carvajal, 47, reportedly showed up to the home around 7:20pm and began threatening her, pushing his way into her apartment with a knife, according to the NYPD and other published reports.

The New York Times reported that Russo called Laureano for help, and Laureano fought with Carvajal, who was armed with two knives, while Russo locked herself and her two children in the bathroom for safety.

When police arrived, after responding to a 911 call about a woman being attacked by a knife, they encountered both Carvajal and Laureano, the NYPD said. Three officers opened fire on Carvajal after he wouldn’t drop his weapon and began rushing at them, the Daily News reported.

“After ordering the suspect to drop the knife multiple times, police discharged their firearms, striking the armed individual,” the NYPD said in a statement to the media. “The 47-year-old male was pronounced DOA at the scene.”

Police fired a total of 18 bullets, hitting Carvajal nine times, the Daily News said. During the hail of gunfire, Laureano was also hit.

“It appears (Laureano) was inadvertently shot by a police bullet,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Stephen Davis told the Daily News. “It was very close quarters. (Carvajal) was coming at the officers with a knife and they had to fire.”

Our thoughts go out to Laureano’s family and friends.

Police shot and killed a 47-year-old man who they said was wielding a knife he would not drop upon the officers’ arrival at an apartment at 820 Ocean Parkway Monday night, when they were responding to a 911 call of a man assaulting a woman, the NYPD said.

The NYPD did not identify the 47-year-old man, though the New York Daily News said the individual was Francisco Carvajal. Carvajal reportedly arrived at his girlfriend’s Ocean Parkway apartment around 7:20pm Monday evening and was threatening her and another man, Rafael Laureano, 51, with two knives, the Daily News reported.

The NYPD said Laureano too was hit by police fire, and he also died Monday night, though it hasn’t been determined if he died because of the police fire or because of a stab wound.

The two young children of the woman, Kataryzna Russo, were also at the apartment at the time.

70 Pct Suspect Knife 1Police said this was one of the knives used during the attack. Photo via NYPD.

Police said when they arrived at the apartment, Carvajal would not put down his weapon.

“After ordering the suspect to drop the knife multiple times, police discharged their firearms, striking the armed individual,” the NYPD said in a statement to the media. “The 47-year-old male was pronounced DOA at the scene.”

Laureano was removed to Maimonides Hospital, where he was pronounced DOA, police said.

The NYPD said “a 35-year-old female, as well as her two children, ages six and seven, were in the apartment at the time of the incident, and were unharmed.”

“The female and her children locked themselves in the apartment’s bathroom as the suspect, armed with two knives, attempted to gain entry,” police said.

The Daily News reported that after Carvajal, who was a body builder, busted into the apartment, Russo, “fearing the muscular man’s anger,” locked herself in the bathroom.

From the Daily News:

But Carvajal busted down the door, a knife in each hand, cop sources said.

Russo wrestled one knife away from Carvajal and stabbed him in the chest, the sources said.

Enraged, Carvajal turned his attention on Russo’s new love interest, and Laureano then fled the apartment, the sources said. Russo’s children also escaped the apartment, likely at their mother’s urging, and thus missed the horror that would follow.

Laureano returned to the apartment a short time later, and was banging on the door in an effort to get back inside. He was seen pounding on the door when police were called.

When police arrived, Laureano and Carvajal “were close together as the latter was lunging at both Laureano and the cops,” which is when the two were both hit by police fire, the Daily News said.

The investigation into this is ongoing, and the city medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on Laureano to determine his cause of death, the NYPD said.

Photo via Life Saver.

Family, friends and police brass pose with the new vessel named for Harry Ryman; inset: Ryman (Source: NYPD)

Family, friends and police brass pose with the new vessel named for Harry Ryman; inset: Ryman (Source: NYPD)

The fallen officer's grandson, Mathew Ryman, posing with the vessel (Source: NYPD)

The fallen officer’s grandson, Mathew Ryman, posing with the vessel (Source: NYPD)

NYPD top brass helped christen two new police response boats, one of which was named in memory of Police Officer Harry Ryman 24 years after he was shot and killed in front of his Marine Park home.

Commissioner Bill Bratton oversaw the event with members of the NYPD leadership team, Inspector David Driscoll, commanding officer of the harbor unit, and family and friends of Ryman to dedicate the vessels. Ryman was honored alongside fallen officer Joseph McCormack, who was shot and killed in 1983.

“Today we gather with the family, friends and colleagues of two NYPD heroes to remember the sacrifice they made,” said Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. “With the dedication of these two Harbor Unit launches we ensure their memories will forever sail on the beautiful waters that surround New York City.”

On August 14, 1980, Ryman was sleeping at his Marine Park home when we awoke to noise in the street. He grabbed his shield and his revolver and went to investigate. Outside he found three men attempting to steal a car. Though off-duty from his post at Coney Island’s 60th Precinct, Ryman jumped to action and identified himself as a police officer. The thugs opened fire, striking him. Even though he was critically wounded, he returned fire and hit one of the assailants, and due to his actions all three suspects were apprended.

Ryman was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was 43 years old when he died, and a 17-year veteran of the force.

His grandson, P.O. Mathew Ryman, is assigned to the NYPD’s Intelligence Division, and he wears his murdered grandfather’s badge.

The vessels, two 62-foot ships to be used for patrol functions, counter-terrorism and rescue operations, are among the largest boats in the NYPD fleet. In addition to sonar equipment, the ships can detect radiation and also have underwater cameras.

Gavrin

Source: Gavrin family via Daily News

Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered flags across New York State to be flown at half mast today in honor of U.S. Army PFC Bernard Gavrin, a Midwood resident who went missing in action during World War II whose remains were recently discovered.

Gavrin was reported missing in action on July 7, 1944, while serving in the Pacific theater at the age of 29. On June 15, as part of an Allied strategic goal to secure the Mariana Islands, U.S. forces were ordered to take Saipan. In one of the bloodiest sieges during the war, the Japanese forces threw wave after wave of soldiers at Allied forces on suicide missions known as banzai attacks. The 105th Infantry Regiment Gavrin served in sustained heavy losses of more than 900 killed or injured.

In the mayhem, many went missing and were presumed dead. Gavrin’s family never knew the comfort of certainty or the circumstances of his final hours – until now.

Gavrin’s remains were found as part of an initiative of the Japanese nonprofit the Keuntai Group, whose mission is to locate the remains of one million Japanese soldiers and return them to their families. During excavations in a cave in Saipan, the group found the Brooklynite’s tattered dog tags among the remains of several American soldiers in a mass grave.

On the dog tags was Gavrin’s home address – 1746 Ocean Avenue, near Avenue M.

Source: Gavrin family via Sun Sentinel

Source: Gavrin family via Sun Sentinel

A nephew of Gavrin’s, now 81, is the only surviving member of the family to remember the fallen soldier.

The Sun Sentinel reports:

“I am the only living relative to have known my Uncle Bernie,” [Gavrin's nephew David] Rogers said. “Words cannot do justice to the shock this news left me with.”

Rogers says he still remembers the screams of his grandmother Bessie when she opened a telegram delivered by the United States War Department.

It was the middle of summer 1944 and World War II was raging. Rogers, 12 at the time, greeted the uniformed man who stood at the door to his Brooklyn home — the bearer of bad news, every mother’s worst nightmare.

… Rogers was 8 when he last saw his uncle. He remembers having a “childish” accident that day, which left him bed-ridden with seven stitches above his eye. When his uncle stopped by for a visit, he woke up to say hello.

The next thing he heard about his uncle was when the soldier showed up at the door with the news he was missing in action.

“As a young person, to witness that, it obviously lasts the rest of your life,” he said.

Gavrin’s remains returned to the United States for the first time in at least 70 years, and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. on Friday. On discovering the dog tags, the Army verified to Gavrin’s family that in addition to a Purple Heart, the soldier also won seven additional awards, including a Bronze Star Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal and American Defense Service Medal.

Gavrin was buried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery while his only surviving family member to remember him, David Rodgers, looked on.

“PFC Gavrin put his life on the line and paid the ultimate price to defend our nation and fight for the freedoms that it is built upon,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “After far too many years, he has returned home and has been granted a proper burial alongside the many other heroes who answered the call. I ask all New Yorkers to join me in honoring PFC Gavrin’s memory, his service and his sacrifice.”

Built around 1925, the Midwood home where Gavrin lived still stands, nestled behind large, leafy shrubs and a tree. Property records show the Gavrin family sold it in 1970.

The Gavrin family's home at the time of Bernard's death still stands today. (Source: Google Maps)

The Gavrin family’s home at the time of Bernard’s death still stands today. (Source: Google Maps)

Next »