Truck driver shot dead in Jamaica

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While police searched for the killer of a Jamaica man shot in his car Saturday night, his grown daughters mourned a man they described as loving and even-tempered.

Retired truck driver John Bazemore, 56, was found in his 1994 Jeep Cherokee on Watson Place after evidently trying to flee from his attacker, police said.

“It was just a senseless crime,” said Bazemore’s daughter, Artesure Bazemore, at his 142nd Street apartment Sunday. She said her 24-year-old brother was killed in a similar incident 11 years ago.

“We lost him to the streets the same way,” she said, indicating she suspected her father’s murder was a robbery gone bad.

Shemeka Bazemore said she could not believe her father was gone.

“He was fun to be around,” she said, noting he was fond of automobiles, especially his Jeep.

“He loved that car,” she said.

 The incident occurred at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, police said. Jamaica resident Rosa Smith said she heard three gunshots, followed by the sound of crunching metal as Bazemore swerved down the dead-end street, smashed into a red minivan parked on the curb and threw his SUV into reverse, sideswiping a parked sedan and Range Rover before coming to rest in front of her house.

He was pronounced dead at Mary Immaculate Hospital, police said.

Patricia Wilkins, whose daughter lives on the street, said she was walking back to her daughter’s house from the store when she came across the scene.

“He was laying there with his seatbelt on, slumped over,” she said. “He was dead.”

Bazemore was shot once in the chest, police said. No arrests had been made by press time Tuesday.

Rachel Gordon, Bazemore’s next door neighbor for 11 years, described him as always willing to lend a hand.

“He helped me with distributing Bibles,” she said. “He was an all-around good guy. His temperament was beautiful. It’s just a shock to everyone.”

Artesure Bazemore was not sure if her father had any friends living on Watson Place, which is about two miles away from his home, but indicated it was possible.

“He lived in Jamaica for 40 years,” she said. “He had friends all over.”

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

Posted 6:37 pm, October 10, 2011
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