Sunnyside man killed in shooting

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One man died from a gunshot wound to the head and another was wounded in a Sunnyside apartment Tuesday afternoon following a dispute with two other men, police said.

Christos Zorbas, a 53-year-old man who may have lived in the apartment at 43-24 40th St, was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

An unidentified 31-year-old man who was shot in the head was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition Wednesday morning, hospital spokeswoman Lisa King said.

Two men around 20 years old fired the shots at 5:05 p.m. after entering the first-floor apartment in the three-story residential building on 40th Street, directly north of Queens Boulevard, police said.

The men had been involved in a dispute, police said.

They had not made any arrests in the case by press time Wednesday morning.

Neighbors said they believed the injured man lives alone in the studio apartment, which sits on the front northern corner of a three-story walkup building. Police, however, said Zorbas lived in the apartment.

After he was shot, the 31-year-old man approached a neighbor and asked her to call the police.

“I saw blood on him, but I didn’t think anything of it until he told me, ‘Call the cops because I got shot,’” the woman said.

The incident had left her feeling “nervous, shaky, scared,” she said.

The murder shocked neighbors who live on the otherwise peaceful residential street lined with multifamily, brick-faced apartment buildings.

“I don’t understand how that could happen to him, because he’s a nice guy,” the neighbor said. “He doesn’t seem like the type to have any problems where someone would want to shoot him.”

“I’m sorry for him,” another neighbor said. “He’s a nice guy. At Christmastime, he comes in to say ‘Happy New Year.’ Sometimes we drink a beer together.”

Few neighbors knew the wounded man by name, although many said they would exchange greetings with him in passing on the street.

“He was a really nice person,” said a teenager who lives in a neighboring building. “He was always calm. I never imagined that that would happen to him.”

“When we used to play outside here, we used to talk to him,” said a young boy who lives in the same building.

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

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