Rochdale man shot dead in LIC

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A Rochdale man was shot on a street corner in Long Island City early Saturday morning and later died at a Manhattan hospital, police said.

Clarence Williamson, 39, of 176-57 133rd Rd., was shot on the corner of 41st Avenue and 12th Street at about 1:30 a.m., according to police. The location is in the heart of the Queensbridge Houses, the largest housing project in the country.

When officers responded to a 911 call, they found Williamson bleeding from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder and called EMS, police said.

Upon arriving at Cornell Medical Center, across the Queensboro Bridge in Manhattan, Williamson was pronounced dead, according to police.

On Saturday evening, a small memorial was erected near where the shooting occurred where friends and family stopped by to light candles and place flowers at the effigy.

One woman, resident Tee Epps, bent down to light one of the candles in tears.

“I never expected him to be laid out dead,” she said. “This is so shocking.”

Epps said the shooting occurred over a mutual love interest and that she knew the party responsible, but as of Tuesday evening police had no suspects and the investigation was ongoing.

Williamson lived a rough life, Epps said. Police said he had 12 prior arrests for drug possession, assault, reckless endangerment and grand larceny.

But Epps said that things had recently started to turn around.

“Since the summer, he changed,” she said. “He was just starting to get everything back together. He was already planning his 40th birthday party.”

Williamson would have turned 40 in September.

Early Saturday morning, residents said the corner where the shooting took place was blocked off with police tape.

Many were shocked to learn of the shooting.

“That scares me,” said one woman returning home who learned of the incident for the first time. “I know almost everybody around here.”

The shooting marks the first murder in the 114th Precinct for the year. In 2010, there were nine murders in the precinct, down sharply from 30 in 1990.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 10:33 am, October 12, 2011
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