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Man stabbed to death outside Astoria Houses

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Gregory Abney, 27, of 2-10 27th Ave., was stabbed in the abdomen by two men at about 5:40 a.m. in front of 3-20 27th...

By Dustin Brown

An Astoria man and father of two died Sunday morning after being stabbed during an altercation outside the Astoria Houses, police said.

Gregory Abney, 27, of 2-10 27th Ave., was stabbed in the abdomen by two men at about 5:40 a.m. in front of 3-20 27th Ave. following a party, police spokesman Sgt. Richard Kemmler said. The victim was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he died at 6:30 a.m., Kemmler said.

No arrests had been made by press time.

Abney lived with his girlfriend of the past 12 years, Andrea King, and their two children in an apartment at the Astoria Houses, a public housing project that stretches from the East River waterfront to 8th Street along Astoria Boulevard.

The afternoon following her boyfriend’s death, King, 26, spoke about Abney with her friend Michelle Harper, 22, and two of Abney’s brothers as they sat on a bench outside the seven-story brown-brick buildings of the complex.

Abney, the youngest of four brothers, had lived his entire life in the Astoria Houses and was working as a forklift operator at the Super Studs steel plant. He had attended IS 126 and Queens Vocational High School in Long Island City, where he and King were high school sweethearts.

The brothers described him as a good person and hard worker who was supporting his 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter.

“He was known as the preacher man,” said brother, Eric, 30.

“Because he was always preaching, telling you right from wrong, [or that] you shouldn’t do that,” Harper added.

Abney’s two children played quietly along the paved walkway while King talked about their father.

“They took it hard. They loved their father,” King said. “Every time they think about it they start crying.”

Harper said she learned of the attack when a woman ran along her hallway banging on the doors early Sunday morning. She immediately told King, who arrived at the scene after Abney had already been taken away in an ambulance.

“It’s like the dead zone,” Harper said, alluding to the frequency of violent crime in the neighborhood.

Although signs are posted warning that cameras set up throughout the complex are monitored by the police, Abney’s family said the cameras should have captured the fight and alerted police in time to have saved his life.

“These cameras are supposed to be to protect,” King said.

A police spokesman said the cameras are monitored 24 hours a day by officers who alert 911 when they notice suspicious activity. They said no such activity was observed on the morning of the stabbing.

“We don’t know what we have from the cameras on the film yet, but the film has been confiscated and is being reviewed,” said Community Affairs Officer Michael Johnson.

Co-worker Kenny Kidd said word of Abney’s death traveled rapidly throughout the Super Studs facility Monday morning.

“He was a real hard worker,” Kidd said. “Everyone liked him on the job.”

Kidd said employees at the factory were taking up a collection to help Abney’s family and his children.

At Felix Food Center at 8-01 Astoria Blvd., a corner grocery across the street from the housing complex, friends and neighbors slipped money into a plastic jar placed on the counter to help the family cover funeral costs. Pasted to the container was a photo of Abney clad in a white T-shirt, smiling and peering back into the camera against a backdrop of the Manhattan skyline.

Above the picture was written, “In loving memory of Greg Abney.”

Reach reporter Dustin Brown by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 7:07 pm, October 10, 2011
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