Police charge 21-year-old with murder of Guyanese man in New York
(NY Daily News) A 21-year-old gunned down in bed beside his girlfriend was killed over $1,200 in stolen cash, sources said Monday.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said that Jonathan Chan and three others broke into Eric Assanah’s South Ozone Park home as he slept and blasted him in the chest on Sunday afternoon. The victim’s girlfriend, Amanda Gajraj, was beside him when he was shot, sources said.
“This is another senseless act of gun violence. The defendant allegedly unlawfully entered the victim’s residence with three other unapprehended individuals, crept into the first-floor bedroom and shot and killed the 21-year-old man,” Brown said. “The victim’s girlfriend awoke to see her companion bleeding to death as the four men fled the scene. This was truly a nightmare come true for this young woman.”
Sources told the Daily News the shooting stemmed from Chan’s suspicion that Gajraj had stolen from him.
Gajraj insisted she hadn’t stolen the cash, but Chan, 21, and another suspect said they would kill her and Assanah if the money wasn’t returned, sources said.
On Sunday, sources say, Chan and three others still at large followed through on the threat.
Two neighbors said they’d complained of rowdiness at the home long before the shooting.
“They’re always out there on the steps smoking marijuana. We call the cops, the cops say they can’t do nothing if they’re in their house,” said Surjpatti Basit, 64.
Chan denied involvement in the murder, sources said. He has nine prior arrests. Gajraj could not be reached.
Assanah’s aunt, Carol Assanah, said Sunday that he had been terrified in the hours before his death.
He left a voicemail for his father in Guyana saying “I’m scared,” his aunt said just a day before police found his body. “He called his dad and told him to call him back,” she added.
Police found Eric Assanah dead about 12:20 p.m., after getting a 911 call for an assault in a house on 135th Place near 133rd Ave. in South Ozone Park. About five people were in the home when he died, sources said.
Assanah’s girlfriend, who he was temporarily living with, told cops she woke up and found his body, police said, though investigators are probing whether she knew more about what happened to him.