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S. Jamaica shooting kills 2

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Two people were shot to death inside their car last Thursday night in South Jamaica in an area that residents said has been plagued with crime.

Willie Cobb, 28, and an unidentified woman were found dead inside a minivan just six blocks from his home on 159th Street and 106th Avenue around 6:30 p.m., police said.

The Ford Windstar crashed into a brick wall and fence outside a home at 153rd Street and 106th Avenue after the shooter fired into the vehicle, scaring neighbors on the block.

“It’s South Jamaica — what do you expect?” said the owner of the house where the van crashed, who asked not to be identified. “I just want to get out of here.”

Cobb and the woman were pronounced dead at the scene and the shooter fled, according to police.

No suspects were named and there were no arrests as of Friday morning. The investigation was ongoing, police said.

Cobb’s vehicle had South Carolina plates, according to neighbors, who said they had not seen him before in their neighborhood. One resident, who also asked not to be identified, said the block has taken a turn for the worse with high crime and prostitution.

“This is a lousy neighborho­od,” she said. “You have to see all the women coming here from out of town, soliciting themselves.”

The neighbor quickly added that she did not know if prostitution had anything to do with the shooting. Police would not comment about the crime in the area.

The killings have raised the total number of homicides in the 103rd Precinct to 11 for this year, police statistics show. During the same period in 2009, the precinct, which covers most of southeast Queens, had nine reported murders, according to the NYPD.

Despite the surge in killings, overall crime has decreased by more than 2 percent over the last 12 months from 1,190 reported incidents last year to 1,158 crimes in 2010, statistics showed.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crimestoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS, text their tips to 274637 then enter TIP577 or log on to nypdcrimestoppers.com. All reports will be kept confidential.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

Updated 6:31 pm, October 10, 2011
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