Brooklyn man slain in Queens Village

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On a quiet residential street in Queens Village, in a neighborhood residents called one of the safest they have ever lived in, police said a 27-year-old man was shot in the head and killed late Saturday night.

Police said they found Matthew Gray, 27, of Brooklyn, around 10:45 p.m. Saturday lying on the ground with a gunshot wound to his head outside 227-13 109th Ave. in Queens Village.

“I was so shocked,” said Vladimir Guerrier, who lives a couple blocks away in Queens Village and whose friend resides in the house across the street from where the man died. “It’s so, so quiet here. It’s a nice neighborhood. I heard helicopters all night because of this, I think, and my friend said there were lots of cop cars here for a while.”

Lester Gill, who lives on 109th Avenue, said there have been no incidents of violence on the street in the six years he has lived there.

“Everything has always been normal here,” Gill said. “It’s a very quiet neighborhood. Nothing like this ever happens. I was already in bed, so I didn’t even hear anything.”

Residents said they did not know who lived in the house at 227-13 109th Ave., and Gill said it was a “renter house.” No one answered the door Sunday at the two-story, single family home, outside of which a BMW was parked.

“People are in and out of there a lot,” he said.

Another resident who did not want to be named said this street was the “safest” he has ever lived on.

“I have never been worried about getting home late here, never,” the man said. “Everyone I know here I like.”

There have been 13 people murdered in the 105th Precinct this year, a 116 percent jump from the six murders there had been at the same time last year, according to city statistics. The 105th has the largest geographic area to cover in the city, including Queens Village, Cambria Heights, Laurelton, Rosedale, Springfield Gardens, Bellerose, Glen Oaks, New Hyde Park and Floral Park.

The murder of a deli worker in the 105th at the end of October spurred City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton) to hold a special meeting about violence in the area and again called for the creation of a new precinct dedicated to southeast Queens.

Police said Juan Torres, 54, was killed Oct. 23 after a robber entered the Lucky Deli in Laurelton and threatened him and his brother Felix with a gun. Torres and his brother gave the robber money, but the suspect allegedly opened fire on him, police said.

No arrests have been made in the most recent murder, and police said the investigation was ongoing.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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