Apparent love triangle led to East Elmhurst shooting that left two dead and off-duty cop injured: NYPD

Detectives at the scene of a double homicide in East Elmhurst on Sept. 21.
Photo by Mark Hallum


Two people were fatally shot at an East Elmhurst home on Friday morning after a suspected love triangle turned violent, law enforcement sources said.

According to police, the incident occurred at about 7:40 a.m. on Sept. 21 at a home in the vicinity of 77th Street and 19th Road, about two blocks souths of the Rikers Island Bridge.

Police said a 31-year-old woman called 911 at 6:52 a.m. — just one minute after a neighbor reported hearing gunshots. The woman, who lived on the second floor of the apartment building, told 911 operators that “I’ve been shot by my boyfriend,” and asked to send the police, according to Carlos Nieves of the NYPD’s Public Information office.

That call then disconnected, but the line remained open and loud noises were heard in the background, Nieves said.

Officers from the 114th Precinct and the NYPD Emergency Services Unit responded to the call, according to Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea.

“When they get to this location they encounter a locked door to apartment [2R], but from within that location, they can hear (and this is preliminary but) up to 10 shots being fired,” Shea said. “They immediately secured a perimeter, they request additional assistance and Emergency Service began rolling to the location.”

Upon entering the building, officers found Nelson Giron, 47, of Lakeworth, Florida shot once in the head, and Regan Smith, 31, of 77th Street in East Elmhurst with two gunshot wounds to her head. Detectives believe that she was the woman who made the 911 call.

Paramedics pronounced them both dead at the scene, police said; their identities have been withheld, pending family notification.

A third individual, a 43-year-old Yonkers police officer believed to be the victim’s boyfriend, was found alive with a gunshot wound to the shoulder and multiple stab wounds to the back, likely from a screwdriver, a police source told the TimesLedger.

The off-duty officer underwent at Elmhurst Hospital and is expected to survive, according to Nieves.

A firearm was located in close proximity to Giron’s body, Nieves said. The gunshot wound he sustained may have been self-inflicted, according to Nieves, who added that the serial number on the gun matches up to a weapon owned by the off-duty officer.

“What we do believe is that we have three individuals — two are romantically involved and one possibly an ex-boyfriend and one a current boyfriend,” Nieves said, adding that at least two of the three involved in the incident had previously served in the military, though he could not confirm that had anything to do with Friday’s events.

Shea said the NYPD received calls of trouble from the location in the days leading up to the homicides.

“What we know now as we stand here, beginning this week on Monday, we had several calls of this general vicinity,” he said. “We had an incident involving a car being keyed, and it involved the three individuals that I just spoke about.”

The investigation is ongoing.

This story was updated on Sept. 22 at 10:05 a.m.

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