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Jamaican immigrant killed in his Jamaica home

Oneyl Stephan, a 29-year-old immigrant from the island...

By Courtney Dentch

A Jamaica man who loved cooking Jamaican food for his friends was killed last week by three unidentified men, who entered his home and dragged him down the stairs before shooting him, police said.

Oneyl Stephan, a 29-year-old immigrant from the island of Jamaica, was shot once in the chest in the hallway of his home at 107-33 157th St. about 1 a.m. Friday, police said.

“He didn’t do nothing to them,” said Stephan’s friend and co-worker Errol Tate, 52. “He didn’t do nothing to deserve this. People are crazy nowadays.”

Three men, who have not been identified, came to Stephan’s home after midnight Friday, police said. Stephan’s landlord, George Ferdinand, heard fighting coming from the upstairs apartment Stephan shared with his wife and three children, Ferdinand said.

The men pulled Stephan down the stairs toward the front door and shot him in the chest. He was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.

Stephan, who worked in construction, was believed to have let the men into the house, police said.

“He never opened the door for me and he opens the door for them,” Ferdinand said. “He knew who they were.”

Ferdinand went into the hallway of the two-family home to help Stephan, but the gunmen yelled at him to go inside, he said.

“I get up and open the door and I see someone put a gun in my face,” Ferdinand said. “I hear somebody say, ‘Go inside and close the f----ing door.’ So I called 911.’”

Ferdinand waited for the police to arrive, but did not go into the hallway to check on Stephan for fear the shooters were still in the house, he said.

“They almost shot me, too, because I tried to help him,” Ferdinand said.

Stephan’s wife and three children were also home the night of the shooting but were not harmed, police said. His family was unavailable to comment.

No arrests were made and detectives were still investigating the motive behind the murder, police said.

Stephan rented part of Ferdinand’s house for the past five years, Ferdinand said. Stephan moved from Jamaica to the United States because he saw greater opportunity in America, said his friend Glen Burnett.

“We talked about making a better life in this country,” he said. “He was a hardworking, hardworking guy.”

Stephan also made some money and some friends fixing cars, Tate said.

“He would make time for me to fix my car,” he said.

Stephan also loved to cook his native Jamaican food, and he would bring dishes to work to share, Burnett said.

“Sometimes he would cook for us,” he said. “Sometimes he brought us food. He was just a friendly guy.”

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

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