2004-05-14 / Community

Two Years Later, Family Still Remembers

By Howard Schwach

Two Years Later, Family Still Remembers

By Howard Schwach

At Monday, May 6, 2002, at the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway, the Ross Family’s lives changed forever.

The front-page story in The Wave on May 11 told the story.

"In two unrelated shootings last week, two men were killed and another was wounded as gun violence returned to Far Rockaway.

"In the first incident, two men were the victims of a shooting that took place on Monday, May 6, at the Redfern Houses in Far Rockaway.

"According to police reports, an assailant shot the men around midnight in front of 12-70 Redfern Avenue. One of the men, Dennis Ross, 28, was pronounced dead while in route to Jamaica Hospital. The other man, local resident Leon Harper, shot once in the leg, was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where his condition is not considered life threatening.

"Police are searching for an 18-year old Rockaway man in connection with the shootings. Detectives from the 101 Precinct Squad are looking for Thaddeus Corley of 15-30 Hassock Street in Far Rockaway. Corley, whose street name is "Shoes," is described by police as six foot, 180 pounds, with short hair and dark complexion."

Though Corley was caught shortly after the shooting and convicted on December 2, 2003 and sentenced to 15 years in jail, Ross’ family does not feel closure in the case.

"Though it’s been two years and the family has gone on with their lives, the pain is still very much there," says Stephanie Beard, a family member. "We had hoped that the accused would get more time, but we are glad that he will be off the street and will not be able to kill somebody else’s son or brother."

Beard said that the family waited a year to find out if Corley would accept the plea agreement offered to him of if he was going to put them through an emotional trial.

Finally, Corley took the plea agreement.

"Corley never showed any emotion or remorse at his hearing," the family member said. "One day he will be free to walk the street and Dennis Ross will still be dead."

The family says that it has started a "Stop the Violence" organization that will soon feature a showcase that will allow positive teens to show their talent.

"Dennis lost his life, but his voice will still be heard through his family," Beard concluded.

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