2007-08-03 / Community

Man Sentenced In Inwood Shooting Of FR Youth

By Howard Schwach

John Romano in an undated photo prior to the shooting incident. John Romano in an undated photo prior to the shooting incident. A Brooklyn man was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Tuesday for a 2006 home invasion in Inwood, Long Island, that left a Far Rockaway youth who was at the home on a sleepover with a bullet in his head.

Nassau County Judge Jerald Carter sentenced Tyreek Williams of Starrett City in Brooklyn to serve the time, for breaking into the Inwood home at about 11 p.m. on September 23, 2006. John Romano, who was nine-years-old at the time, was sleeping over at the house, owned by his relatives, when Williams broke into the home and a gun battle broke out between Williams and Romano's uncle, who had a licensed handgun in the house.

Romano, a student at PS 43 in Edgemere, suffered a gunshot wound to the head that necessitated major surgery. Romano remains partially paralyzed and has lost the use of one eye.

"I'm sorry this happened to you," Judge Carter told Romano at the sentencing. "I hope and pray that you will go on with the rest of your life to the best of your ability."

A spokesperson for the Nassau County Police Department told The Wave that three men, two of whom had handguns, entered the Inwood home and held the occupants at gunpoint until the uncle came out of a back bedroom with a gun of his own and a shootout ensued.

Romano, Williams, and a third occupant of the house were wounded.

A second man, Rasheed Watson, 22, of Patterson, New Jersey, has been arrested as the person who actually shot Romano. His trial is expected in the near future. The third man is still at large, according to the Nassau police spokesperson.

Williams was arrested when he showed up at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn with a gunshot wound, shortly after the home invasion.

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