Two police vans sat outside a Pomonok Houses apartment building Tuesday morning, staking out the home of a man wanted in the killing of a Fresh Meadows woman Saturday in what has been described as a retaliatory shooting targeted at her 22-year-old son, according to police. The first suspect was arrested Sunday.
Christina Coleman, 39, and her 18-year-old son Hassan Gil were both shot at about 5:45 p.m. Saturday while they sat in her 2006 light blue Volkswagen in front of her home in at 155-26 Jewel Ave. in the Pomonok Houses, police said.
Immediately after the shooting, Gil reported the crime to officers at Police Service Area 9 a few buildings away at 155-09 Jewel Ave., according to police. Coleman and Gil were taken to New York Hospital Queens, where Coleman was declared dead on arrival from a gunshot to the head and later that day her son, who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, was listed in stable condition, police said.
The shooting was believed to be payback for an earlier shooting Saturday morning at 67-18 Parsons Blvd., which wounded two suspected drug dealers, Breaking News Network said. It was likely a case of mistaken identity as sources told the New York Post that the shooters were gunning for Coleman’s 22-year-old son, Mark, who also lives in Pomonok and is a suspect in the earlier shooting. Police were still searching Tuesday for Mark Coleman, who has a tattoo of his mother’s name on his neck.
Malik Wallace, 20, was arrested Sunday and charged with murder in connection with Christina Coleman’s murder, according to police, who were looking for his alleged coshooter Lerome Robinson, 21, of 155-24 Jewel Ave.
Neighbor Gee Johnson, who lives in the Pomonok Houses, sat on a bench outside her Jewel Avenue home Tuesday morning. She said she was shocked when she saw a photograph of Coleman, who she knew as “C.C.,” on the wall in her building and found out she had been killed.
Police had stopped by Johnson’s house shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday to ask if she had heard a sound “like firecrackers,” which she said she had noticed at about 5:30 p.m., but had chalked up to Independence Day revelry.
“She wasn’t a problem in the neighborhood. She’s not someone who sits on the bench and talks to people, she’s just someone who passes in and out. She’s not someone who hangs out. I couldn’t believe it was her. That hurt me,” she said. “She was a beautiful girl, she was a very pretty girl. She had a face where she could have been a model. I don’t understand how it could be her. That makes no sense.”
Now Coleman, who a neighbor said worked as a nurse at a local hospital, is commemorated by a small, makeshift memorial of nine tall candles encircling a telephone pole wrapped with smiling photographs and fake flowers in front of her building.
On Tuesday morning, the words “R.I.P. ALL BRIPz HARDBACKz” were sprayed in fresh red paint on a sidewalk near the murder scene.
Johnson said the neighborhood has gone downhill in recent years.
“We’re just starting the summer. After seeing her face in the lobby, who knows,” she said. “It’s only the beginning of July. What we’re going to see by the end of August, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2011 Community News Group
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