Police said the Brooklyn set of a ripped-from-the-headlines television crime show was the scene of a murder early Tuesday morning when a man who enforced parking restrictions associated with the production was fatally shot as he sat in his car.
The murder took place on North Henry Street just off Norman Avenue in the Greenpoint neighborhood as a film crew working on the crime show Law & Order: Organized Crime was preparing to shoot on the block, according to police and leaflets posted there.
Police identified the victim as Johnny Pizarro, 31, from Queens.
Mr. Pizarro, whose job it was to make sure the street was clear so cars associated with the show could park, was sitting in the car when a lone assailant approached the car, opened the door, and shot him in the head and neck. the police said. Police said he was taken to Woodhull Hospital Center in Brooklyn, where he was pronounced dead.
Police said no arrests had been made by Tuesday afternoon and no motive had been established. Police said a short, thin man wearing a black hoodie and dark pants was running from where the shooting took place.
Law & Order: Organized Crime, which airs on NBC starring Christopher Meloni, is the latest iteration of the long running crime procedural franchise created by producer Dick Wolf. It is produced by Universal Television, a division of the Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment, and is currently filming its third season.
“We were terribly saddened and shocked to learn that one of our team members was the victim of a crime early this morning and died as a result,” a spokesman for NBC and Universal Television said in a statement. “We are working with local law enforcement as they continue to investigate.”
The block where the murder took place is surrounded by large trees and mostly three-story houses, which are inhabited by both old residents and newcomers. mons. McGolrick Park, a dog-friendly shady oasis, is nearby. According to online listings, some refurbished apartments have monthly rents ranging from $3,500 to $5,000.
According to police statistics, the area is in the 94th district, where serious crime is relatively rare. The data shows that there were no homicides in the precinct as of Sunday this year.
Janus Chui, a 35-year-old resident of the area who lives around the corner from the shooting site, said violent crime was indeed rare in the area.
“Every night I walk here,” said Mr. Chui, 60, adding that the area has “never had a single problem” and “never had anything so crazy.”
He said his truck was parked Monday night in the block where the murder took place. and that the man he believed to be Mr. Pizarro had asked him to move it.
“I saw him yesterday,” Mr. Chui said. He added, “He was so energetic.”
Gabrielle Van den Bergh, who lives across the street from the shooting site, said her husband went outside after hearing the shots and then went back inside without noticing.
“It was very loud,” Ms Van den Berg said of the shooting. “I’m pretty sure it was three shots.
Film crews such as Law & Order: Organized Crime have long had a presence in some areas of the city, often to the chagrin of local residents who are unhappy about having to give up coveted parking spaces to make room for vehicles associated with production.
Such productions usually place notices on lampposts telling residents when they should move their cars and when filming will begin. Manufacturing workers like Mr. Pizarro will be sitting up all night to make sure the streets are clean and stay that way.
In the case of Law & Order: Organized Crime, the flyers indicated that the cars were to be removed from the block by 10:00 pm Monday, and filming was to begin at 6:00 am Tuesday—about an hour after Mr. Pizarro was killed. killed.
Due to the shooting, production was halted for a day. Shortly after 4:00 p.m., the last police investigators left the area, as did a tow truck pulling what was believed to be the vehicle Mr. Pizarro was in when he was shot.
Olivia Bensimon contributed reporting.
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