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Murder in Woodhaven ended 12-day lull in city

By Sadef Ali Kully

The 12-day murder-free streak ended for New York City when police responded to the home of Woodhaven resident Eric Roman, who was found shot multiple times and taken to Jamaica hospital, where he eventually succumbed to his injuries and was later pronounced dead on Valentine’s Day, police said.

Roman’s death was the first to occur since Feb. 1, when a man was shot and killed in Manhattan, making it the longest period without a homicide to be recorded since 1994, when the NYPD began keeping records.

Last year was the first time that the city had a span of 10 days without a slaying, police said. That lull also took place in February.

In total, there were 328 murders last year, a record low for the NYPD since 1963. Over the last five years, crime across the city has dropped by 4.6 percent in all categories, including murder and robbery, Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters at a press conference in January.

NYPD officers from the 102nd Precinct arrived to find 28-year-old Roman with gunshot wounds around the head, hand and leg in his home near 89th Street and 91st Avenue Feb. 13, police said. EMS respondents took Roman to Jamaica Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition. Roman died the following day, police said.

The police said witnesses saw a dark-colored Mercedes Benz speed away from near Roman’s home.

A couple of blocks away from Roman’s home, a local deli worker described the people in the neighborhood as hardworking.

“They go to work, come home, go to sleep, and the same thing the next day,” he said.

At this time, there were no arrests and the investigation was ongoing, the NYPD said.

Before the police released details of Roman’s murder, a 56-year-old man was found dead Feb. 14 in a Kew Gardens basement with head trauma. When they arrived at the home near 141st Street and 77th Avenue, police said the man was unconscious and unresponsive. The NYPD did not release his identity pending family notification.

The medical examiner will determine the cause of death and the investigation was ongoing, the NYPD said.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

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