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Sunnyside paramedic shot, killed in neighborhood bar

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Anthony O'Connor, 45, of 50-34 40th St. in Sunnyside, was arrested on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon and was arraigned Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Kew Gardens.

He faces 25 years to life in prison if he is found guilty for the death of Erick Gonzalez, a 28-year-old paramedic who lived at 48-50 38th St. The shooting took place at 8:20 a.m. at the Easy Street Bar on Greenpoint Avenue.

Gonzalez was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in serious condition and pronounced dead two hours after the shooting.

"According to the charges, the defendant intentionally and with depraved indifference to human life caused the death of the victim, an off-duty paramedic, and put the lives of others at risk," District Attorney Richard Brown said.

"The crime is an alarming example of gun-related violence that takes innocent lives and endangers public safety," Brown said.

O'Connor allegedly shot Gonzalez twice in the chest before fleeing the scene in all black clothing, according to police.

He was taken into custody outside a family member's home in Lower Manhattan later that night.

Gonzalez was a paramedic for MetroCare Ambulance in Mount Vernon, N.Y. and St. Vincent's Midtown Hospital in Manhattan. Prior to that, he worked for the New York Fire Department, according to news reports.

The 108th Precinct and the Queens Homicide Squad were conducting the investigation into the murder.

Reach reporter Cynthia Koons by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 141.

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