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Ozone Park store worker shot dead in mini market

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Police were still searching for two men who fatally shot a 43-year-old Guyanese immigrant early Saturday morning while he was drinking coffee in a deli across the street from the Ozone Park supermarket where he worked, police said.

Cops said John Freddy of Brooklyn, a regular customer at the Central Mini Market at 76-20 Liberty Ave., was pronounced dead when police arrived at the scene at 6:49 a.m. Police said the preliminary investigation revealed that one man distracted the clerk by asking him for items in the store while the other one was responsible for shooting Freddy once in the head.

The store clerk ran down the store stairs into the basement and called 911 to alert authorities of the crime, police said.

Police were searching for two black men in their 20s or 30s. Cops said one man was wearing a blue denim jacket and the other was wearing a dark-colored jacket with the letters "DKNY" on the back, the number "55" on the left sleeve and the letter "D" on the left breast.

Co-workers at the Associated Supermarket, where Freddy was the manager of the store's dairy department, discussed the weekend incident in closed groups among themselves. One store clerk ran away in tears when asked about Freddy.

"He was a good person," said one man who asked not to be identified but who had worked alongside Freddy. It was a daily routine for Freddy to go to the Central Mini Market and get a cup of coffee before starting his workday, co-workers said.

Freddy leaves behind a wife and 6-year-old son.

The two men in the case are also wanted for questioning in a related shooting that took place hours later in Brooklyn where an Indian store clerk was found shot dead from a wound to the head, police said.

Authorities also released a videotape of the events leading to Freddy's death during a news conference Sunday. Police said they were offering a $12,000 reward for anyone with information about either of the two incidents or details leading to the arrests of the two men.

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 1-718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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