By Bill Parry
LeFrak City is still reeling from the pre-Thanksgiving shooting death of Brandee Anastasia Massey, a pregnant mother of four.
Massey was returning home after walking her children to PS 206 Wednesday morning, police say, when a gunman shot her in her chest and arm outside her 15th floor apartment. Her husband, Joseph Massey, heard the shots and discovered her body in the hallway.
The victim was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center where emergency room doctors delivered her infant before both were pronounced dead.
Community leaders joined state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) outside the vast complex, at 98-15 Horace Harding Expressway, on Friday to announce that a reward for information leading to the arrest of Massey’s killer has been upped to $6,000.
“What type of savage would do such a thing?” Peralta asked. “What happened here destroyed many lives and hurt a community. Instead of Mr. Massey celebrating Thanksgiving Day like so many of us did, Mr. Massey was worried about how and when he was going to explain to his children what happened to their mother, and for that this individual has to pay a hefty price.”
The Massey family has not been allowed to return to their apartment because the killer is still at large and City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras provided funds for their lodging, according to Peralta. He also announced the creation of a fund that will accept charitable contributions to provide for the education of the victim’s children.
Peralta added that the killer would likely be charged with two murders.
Meanwhile, police say there have been no arrests and the investigation continues with detectives trying to locate the victim’s uncle.
“They are looking for her uncle and he would have known her schedule,” LeFrak City Tenants’ League Coordinator Jim Galloway said. “He also knows how easy it is to walk right inside the building because none of the doors are locked properly.”
With security guards looking on, Galloway showed how a main door to the building’s lobby was blocked with blue duct tape so it wouldn’t lock. He also pointed to a security vestibule where the guards line-of-sight was blocked by construction permits.
“They’re doing all this renovation work inside the building so the doors are always open with people coming and going,” Galloway said. “We’re going to have to beef up security around here before something else happens.”
With that a security chief ushered Galloway and members of the media from LeFrak City.
“You’re on private property, you’re not allowed here,” he said while refusing to answer questions about the security breach.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 260–4538.