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Soon after the deaths of his former girlfriend and 7-year-old pit bull, the Woodhaven 27-year-old took his own life, police said. Angelica Sanchez, 21, was killed around 5 a.m. by a single bullet outside her apartment in the Bronx, according to authorities.Two hours later, detectives arrived at Rosario's home in Woodhaven, where they were met by a pit bull guarding the door. Officers at first tried quelling the dog with a tranquilizer dart, but after hearing a gunshot ring out from inside, they shot it dead and entered the house. When they came to Rosario's room in the basement, they found him holding a 9mm pistol and wounded from a bullet to the head, police said.Authorities were investigating a link between the two deaths."We think it's him," said an officer on the suspicion that Rosario shot Sanchez before turning the gun on himself. "We're just waiting to confirm it through ballistics."In an unrelated incident, that same morning in Woodside police found the body of a 25-year-old man lying dead face down along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The man, Frank Grezda, of Brooklyn, was shot in the left side of the head and most likely dumped on the exit ramp to Queens Boulevard, police said.In the Sanchez shooting, neighbors of Rosario said the couple split about a year ago when Sanchez left the house at 91-11 86th Drive, where she had lived with Rosario on the first floor. About a month earlier, Leonor Aviles recalled being awakened at 5 a.m. by Sanchez's crying."He must have hit her because she was screaming, 'You hurt me, you hurt me.' And he was yelling at her to get back in the house," she said. An ambulance came later that morning and treated her for minor bruises, she said.Aviles, who has lived next door since Rosario, his mother and brother moved in around six years ago, remembered the day Sanchez was packing her suitcases into the car in the driveway. She said Rosario was heartbroken."After she left, he just withdrew," said Aviles, who used to have small talk with her neighbor. "Once in a while I'd see him, but it wasn't the same."The Bronx district attorney said Sanchez had taken an order of protection out against Rosario.But although she could see his devastation, Aviles said she never expected Rosario to resort to violence, calling him a "quiet guy" who loved his pit bull and would take it on walks with Sanchez and the small T-Cup dog he had bought her."He used to shower with it," she said of the pit bull. "It was like his little poodle."A man who answered the door and identified himself as Rosario's brother said Rosario and Sanchez were not together at the time of the shooting. He would make no further comment."I'm shocked -- him going to such extreme," Aviles said. "For some people when they fall in love, they lose it I guess."Reach reporter Zach Patberg at email@example.com or at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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