SE Queens man killed in his car

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Merrick Boulevard was rocked by gunfire again Friday when someone fired several shots into a car on the Laurelton commercial strip, killing a 22-year-old man, police said.

The murder occurred six days after two people were injured when shots were fired into a fried chicken take-out restaurant on Merrick Boulevard at 229th street, eight blocks away from the scene of Friday’s shooting. At press time, no arrests had been made in either incident.

The victim of Saturday’s fatal shooting, Dean Commack, 22, lived at 139-36 230th St. in Laurelton, police said.

But the homeowner, Jamel Ashley, said Saturday evening that Commack did not live here but was dating his sister, who has an apartment within the house.

Officer Pete Dwyer, a community affairs officer at the 105th Precinct, said the victim was in a car with a woman, heading out of the 105th Precinct, when they stopped to get some chicken.

It was not clear whether there was any connection between the earlier shooting at the chicken take-out restaurant and Saturday’s fatal attack.

When the car reached the corner of Merrick Boulevard and 221st Street in Laurelton at 9:10 p.m., several shots were fired in the vehicle, two of which hit Commack in the back of his head, police said.

Commack was taken to Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Police said the woman in the car did not see who shot Commack. At press time, detectives were canvassing the area of the shooting, but did not have a suspect, police said.

It was the second murder of the year in the 105th Precinct, where homicides were on the rise last year, according to police statistics.

The 105th Precinct covers Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Rosedale, and portions of Springfield Gardens east of Springfield Boulevard as well as Bellerose, Glen Oaks, Floral Park and New Hyde Park.

On Jan. 20, a Rosedale man was shot to death after trying to break up a fight at a club on South Conduit Avenue, a few blocks from his home, police said. That murder remained unsolved at press time.

Last year murders in the precinct jumped 157.1 percent to 18 in 2001 from seven in 2000, police statistics showed.

But from Jan. 1 to Feb. 2, the citywide murder rate plummeted 50 percent to 35 homicides from 69 in the opening month of 2001. Murder were also down in Queens during the same period, a drop of 33.33 percent with six so far this year compared to nine last year.

While two of those murders were in the 105th Precinct, Sheila Pecoraro, head of the 105th Precinct Council, said she was more concerned about the declining numbers of police on street patrol that the murder statistics.

“There’s been more, but that’s crime that you have no control of,” Pecoraro said about the murders. “What bothers me more is that there are no police officers around.”

When asked about the two shootings within one week on Merrick Boulevard, Pecoraro said: ”I just think that’s a fluke, but the bottom line is that those that have a criminal intent know that there are no police around, so they can have a field day.”

—Dustin Brown contributed to this story

Reach reporter Betsy Scheinbart by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 138.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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