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A Manhattan man who tried to commit suicide Monday confessed to killing his estranged girlfriend at her home in Queens Village over the weekend, possibly with the same gun he later turned on himself, police said.
Jodi Gideon, 24, was found shot once in the neck Saturday afternoon in her apartment at 227-49 Murdock Ave. by her 8-year-old daughter, who had returned home from a relatives house. Police said the residence showed no signs of forced entry and it appeared nothing had been stolen.
Detectives considered Joseph Struthers, 28, who had been resisting Gideons efforts to end their relationship, the prime suspect in the murder, police said.
Struthers used a .25-caliber handgun to shoot himself in the chest before stumbling into Harlem Hospital at 2 p.m. Monday, a police source said.
Officers from the 105th Precinct rushed into Manhattan to interview Struthers at the hospital, where he was arrested by Detective John Kearns after admitting to Gideons murder.
He confessed to killing the woman, a police source said. He gave a statement that he did shoot her.
He has been charged with second-degree murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and tampering with evidence, police said. Struthers remains under guard and was listed in critical but stable condition at the facility in Upper Manhattan.
Having recovered the weapon used in the suicide attempt, detectives now await ballistic reports, which they believe will confirm their suspicion that one gun was used in both shootings.
She was shot with a .25-caliber handgun, and so was he, the source said. So we believe it was the same gun.
A neighbor who spoke on the condition of anonymity said he had crossed paths with the victim twice in recent months.
I saw her a couple times, and we would say, Hi, how you doing? She was very nice. She was beautiful.
The murder occurred next door to the scene of a homicide that took place last October. Duckens Labranche, a Haitian immigrant and barbershop owner, died on Halloween of three gunshot wounds in a case that remains unsolved. Police believe the two cases are unrelated.
The same thing happened last year, and we wondered if it would happen again, the neighbor said. Its the same block, one house away. It makes you think, you know. We dont know whos next. Its scary.
The neighbor said Gideon, an ophthalmology student, often dressed in green medical scrubs. He characterized the neighborhood, which sits just west of the Cross Island Parkway, as quiet. But he added that he believes it needs a stronger police presence.
I think we need more police officers on the block, he said.
Struthers has been arrested four times in recent years, twice on charges of selling drugs, the police source said. He has also been arrested on charges of assault as well as promoting gambling and loitering, the source said. His most recent arrest occurred in April.
Reach reporter Joe Whalen by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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