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4th of July gun mishap claims life

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Marlon Simpson, 29, of Queens Village was...

By Courtney Dentch

A Queens Village man was arrested Saturday when a handgun he was holding went off and killed his friend, marking the second accidental shooting in the southeast Queens neighborhood within a week, police said.

Marlon Simpson, 29, of Queens Village was charged in the death of Dave Lewin, 30, of East Flatbush after Simpson allegedly shot Lewin at Simpson’s home early Friday morning, police said.

Lewin brought the weapon to Simpson’s apartment building, at 221-15 Hempstead Ave., about 4:30 a.m. Friday, after he had been there for a barbecue earlier, police said. Lewin and Simpson were standing in front of the building when Lewin asked Simpson to help him unjam the handgun, police said. As Lewin handed the weapon to Simpson, it discharged, hitting Lewin once in the chest, police said.

Lewin was taken to North Shore University Hospital in Forest Hills, where he was pronounced dead just before 7 a.m., police said.

Lewin’s family could not be reached for comment, and no one was available at Simpson’s home to discuss the incident. Lewin’s neighbors said he was a friendly person who played soccer, basketball and dominoes in his East Flatbush community, according to a report published in Newsday. He had emigrated from the island of Jamaica and worked as an eyeglass technician in Manhattan.

Simpson was arrested Saturday and charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and possession of a weapon, police said. Information on Simpson’s arraignment in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens was not available Tuesday, a spokesman for Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

The incident was the second accidental shooting within a week. On June 29, a Hollis teenager accidentally killed his 15-year-old brother with a gun they had found earlier that day, police said. Romando Raphael, 16, pointed the weapon, which he thought was empty, at his brother Richard, and pulled the trigger, police said. Romando Raphael was also charged with manslaughter, a spokeswoman for the district attorney said.

Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.

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