The man shot Nektalov twice in the back and once in the head with a black firearm, police said. The still unidentified gunman placed the firearm in his waistband and fled the scene, police said
Retired NYPD Lt. John Doherty was working as a security consultant across the street at Fox News when he saw the shooting, the New York Post reported. The retired police officer followed the gunman until he brandished his firearm at the former police officer, the authorities said.
The attacker was last seen in a crowd at 45th Street and Sixth Avenue, police said. He was described as a male with olive complexion 25 to 30 years of age. At the time of the incident he was wearing a black T-shirt, black trousers and had long black hair.
When the cops rolled up to the scene of the crime in the Diamond District, TV stars Lorraine Bracco and Candice Bergen were in tow. They were part of the NYPD's annual Commander for a Day program in which each actress was assigned to spend the day with a top officer.
Nektalov and his father Roman were arrested last June and charged with molding gold into belts, screws and tools in order to smuggle the gold to Colombian drug lords, the New York Post reported. The scheme was allegedly operated out of Roman & Sons jewelers on West 47th Street.
Both father and son pleaded not guilty to money laundering and were set free on $250,000 bond, according to documents filed in federal court in Manhattan. The trial was set to begin next month.
The family of Nektalov said they were outraged over the portrayal of Nektalov in the media. "It adds insult to injury," said Emanuel Sofiev, a nephew of Nektalov. "The media is trying to throw our community into a dark shadow."
Nektalov was the vice president of the Bukharian Jewish Congress and the leader of Bukharian Jews in New York.
"He wanted nothing more than to erect the Bukharian Jewish Community Center," said Sofiev. Nektalov was a hardworking individual dedicated to philanthropic work, said Sofiev.
"He was a respected member of our community," said Sofiev. "He was a prominent businessman and a social activist."
Roughly 3,000 mourners turned out to pay their respects to Nektalov Sunday at the Forest Park Chapel in Forest Hills. He was lauded as a leader of the Bukharian community, a philanthropist and a activist. Nektalov was buried in Wellwood Cemetery on Long Island in the Bukharian Jewish section established by his father in 1995.
Reach reporter Tommy Hallissey by e-mail at news@times
©2004 Community News Group
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