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Flowers, candles and other mementos were piled underneath a tree outside 98-51 63rd Rd. Sunday where Andrew Giummo, 22, fell when he was shot in the chest just after 6 p.m. Saturday when he asked Norris Anderson, 17, to pay back the money he owed him, police said.
Anderson fled and shot himself in the head just a few blocks away, police said.
"This shouldn't have happened. I never thought he'd do something like this," said one man at the site of the shooting, referring to Anderson, who went by the nickname Mark.
The shootings grew out of an argument between Giummo and Anderson, Giummo's friends said. Anderson, who lived across the street from the 63rd Road grocery, was known in the community as a troubled teenager who was still coping with the death of his parents in an incident that mirrored Saturday's shootings. His father, also named Norris Anderson, shot and killed his wife, Carmelia Anderson, before killing himself in April 2000 in Houston, police said. It was unclear if Anderson had witnessed the shooting.
Anderson's relatives could not be reached for comment.
Giummo, who lived a few blocks away on 98th Street, had loaned Anderson $125 recently and was talking to him Saturday about repaying the money, police said. It was not known why Giummo lent him the cash.
"They say he owed him $100 or something," said Cerj Nikci, a pizza maker at J and D Pizzeria, down the block from the site of the shooting. "I saw them walking together and talking right before it happened."
Anderson pulled out a .22-caliber revolver and shot Giummo in the chest, police said. Police rushed to the scene and Anderson initially fled toward the 63rd Road and Queens Boulevard subway station, police said. He then changed directions and ran past 63-89 Saunders St. and as police approached that spot, Anderson shot himself in the head, police said.
Giummo was brought to North Shore Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, and Anderson died at St. John's Hospital, police said.
Giummo, a Nassau Community College student who was engaged to be married, was known as a "man of the people," said Sebastian Parada, who had known him since junior high school.
"He was my best friend," Parada said. "Drew was a great person. Everyone loved him."
Giummo had just begun training to play baseball again, Parada said. He had stopped playing in recent years, but he was slated to pitch for the Astoria Giants Sunday, Parada said.
"He just started playing again," he said. "He lost 30 pounds at least to get ready. He was looking good."
But when Giummo should have been taking the mound, his friends gathered around the tree where he fell after the shooting. Memorial candles, flowers, glasses of beer and signs covered the tree and part of the sidewalk. Graffiti tags were written on the street, a parking meter and the sidewalk in tribute to Giummo.
"Loved my many," read one note on a poster, "missed by all."
Reach reporter Courtney Dentch by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2004 Community Newspaper Group
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