Was Staten Island jeweler targeted?

Suspects still on the loose
April 30, 2008 5:19:36 PM PDT
A jeweler on Staten Island is listed in stable condition Wednesday after he was shot Tuesday night by two men who are still on the loose. But what police want to know is, was Louis Antonelli targeted or the victim of an attempted robbery?The shooting happened in an alley at Broadway and Castleton Avenue in West Brighton around 7 p.m., outside the El Sabor Tropical Restauran, where Antonelli went for take out.

The 43-year-old Antonelli, who is a father of two and who recently celebrated the birth of his daughter, was shot twice in the chest by two men.

Police initially believed the incident was an attempted robbery, but a large quantity of jewelry was left behind. That led investigators to believe that it may have been an attempted murder instead.

Investigators waiting outside the hospital for Antonelli have one question for him, and it's the same question posed Wednesday by his 7-year-old son.

"Why would somebody do this," Louis Antonelli, Jr. asked. "My dad was friends with everybody. Why would they do this?"

Wife Jennifer Antonelli said the shooting makes absolutely no sense. She says her husband is well-known and well-liked. She said he even rescued a neighbor from a house fire in 2000.

"When you're well known, and a lot of people know you and they know your business, and they know about you, you're going to have people who are jealous and enviousof you," she said.

Authorities say two suspects fled toward West Street. They are described as two white men in their 30s. One of them was reportedly wearing a gray sweatshirt.

Friends say they cannot imagine that this was anything other than a random shooting. Police, however, are not quite sure of that yet.

Antonelli is also an honorary member of the Sea Gate Police Department, which is not related to the NYPD. Sea Gate is a private, gated community on the far west end of Coney Island.

Antonelli apparently worked as a volunteer for the PBA and is not a police employee. Authorities say he was given the honorary member title from the deputy chief for all the work he has done in the department.