By Anna Gustafson
A young Fresh Meadows man was shot and killed following an argument in a Pomonok Houses courtyard last week, police said.
Police found Laseam Hogan, 27, on the sidewalk in the Pomonok Houses near 71st Avenue and Kissena Boulevard in Kew Gardens Hills Friday. He had been shot once in the head, twice in the leg and once in the torso a little after 12 p.m., according to police.
No arrests had been made as of Tuesday but police have asked the public to help them locate Malcolm Thompson, 18, for questioning about the homicide. Police did not say where Thompson was from.
Hogan, a Fresh Meadows resident who neighbors said was a father of two, and another man had argued about 20 minutes before the gunman returned to Pomonok and killed the 27-year-old, police said.
Area residents were distraught over the murder and said violent incidents seem to be on the rise at Pomonok, though police said this was inaccurate.
“This neighborhood used to be so nice,” said Susan Scaduto, who lives across the street from the Pomonok Houses, one of the largest housing development in the city. “There are shootings every month and seniors are petrified. People don’t want to come out at night. One senior I know is terrified because there are always people hanging out by his door, large groups hanging out and being noisy and smoking pot.”
Scaduto said she would like to see cameras installed at Pomonok.
Last year, state Assemblywoman Nettie Mayersohn (D-Flushing) and state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone) secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding to install security cameras at Pomonok, a move Pomonok Residents Association President Monica Corbett said would help to deter a rise in crime in the area. The cameras have not yet been installed because NYCHA has not yet received the funding from the state, a city spokeswoman said.
Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows) said while cameras are important, he stressed preventing crime was crucial.
“Security cameras catch people who’ve already perpetrated a crime and bring them to justice but better than that is to ensure crimes don’t happen in the first place,” said Gennaro, who stressed the importance of city and national gun policies that make it difficult for individuals to land weapons illegally.
“It’s just tragic,” Gennaro said of the murder. “It’s two lives destroyed and for what?”
Pomonok Houses is run by the New York City Housing Authority and has 35 buildings that house more than 4,000 people in 2,071 apartments.
A woman who has lived in Pomonok for 35 years and who wished to remain anonymous due to a fear of retaliation said she also believes violence is increasing at Pomonok.
“I was walking around here a couple months ago when I heard a gunshot, and when I looked behind me I saw the man with the gun running away,” she said. “No one died, but it’s still worrisome.”
A resident of the Electchester Houses, located up the street from Pomonok, said the violence at Pomonok makes her worried to allow her 11-year-old son to walk around the area.
“You’re always hearing gunshots here,” she said. “Pomonok is so close to where we live, so of course it makes me upset.”
Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the NYPD at 1-800-577-TIPS. Resident can also submit tips by logging onto www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or texting 274637 and then entering TIP577.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4574.