Far Rock Shooting Spree
Gunshots rang out in Far Rockaway on Sunday morning as two men where shot and killed in separate incidents about a half-mile and an hour apart.
One of the murders, that of a hard-working livery cab driver, got lots of ink in the daily papers, but the other, the murder of a 21-year-old Rockaway man, received little note in the papers.
Mystery shrouds the cold-blooded murder Sunday of the livery cab driver, identified by police as Patrick Hall, 30, who was found slumped over the wheel of his car with a bullet in his head and clutching a wad of cash that totaled $200.
Police say that the murder was most likely a robbery gone bad, and that the shooter panicked and walked away without the money.
Fernando Mateo, spokesman for the New York City Federation of Taxi Drivers, revealed Hall was operating a livery cab without a valid driver’s license. He also said the driver apparently violated a golden rule of the industry: Never pick up an illegal street hail.
Cops said Hall was shot in the back of the head execution-style, suggesting he allowed the deadly fare into the rear seat. The white Ford Crown Victoria with Taxi and Limousine Commission plates crashed into a parked car at Beach 32 Street and Lewmay Road.
“His car ran into the back of my car,” Linda Howard told Daily News reporters. She learned her Dodge Stratus was involved in the morning violence when cops knocked on her Beach 32 Street door at 8 a.m.
“I walk up to the car and I see this guy slumped over clutching money in his left hand. He had a cap on,” Howard said. “He was dead. I saw a bunch of bills in his hand. It was unbelievable.”
Cops were combing the neighborhood for any clues, including any video surveillance that may have captured the deadly encounter and the gunman’s getaway.
An hour earlier, at 5:43 a.m., police officers responded to a call of a person shot at Gateway Boulevard.
Upon responding, they found Sean Mack, 21, of Hammels with two gunshot wounds – one to the lower torso and another to his left arm.
EMS responded and transported the victim to Jamaica Hospital Center, where he was declared dead on arrival.
Detectives from the 101 Precinct Squad are investigating.
Anybody with information about either homicide should contact the detectives at 718-868-3429.