Bronx taxi dispatcher fatally shot

February 15, 2009 3:37:08 PM PST
Police are investigating the execution-style killing of a taxi dispatcher.There are allegations that an on-going landlord-tenant dispute may have been a possible motive.

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A memorial now stands in the same spot where a gunman opened fire, shooting Michael Lorge in the head.

"I've lost my life," the victim's friend, Paul Garrison, said. "My life ended right over there where his did."

Garrison, Lorge's longtime partner and roommate, says Michael was well known in the Bedford Park neighborhood, where he was born and raised.

"Loved life," Garrison said. "If you needed help, people knew you could call him or count on him to help if he could."

But Saturday morning around 5:30, as the 42-year-old was leaving for work, police say someone approach from behind and fired two bullets. They've ruled out robbery, because Lorge's wallet and and jewelry were still on him.

Michael was a taxi dispatcher who also worked as a DJ for an internet radio show. Childhood friend Kevin Gulvin remembers the good times.

"This is a savage killing, to do this to a human being is vicious," he said.

As for a motive, police are looking at several things. Michael's apartment is rent-controlled, and Garrison says it's been a point of contention for years. He says the landlord wanted them out.

In fact, a court date was scheduled for next week, and friends say other incidents have occurred in the past before similar hearings.

"Last year, he got beaten up before a court date," Garrison said. "A few weeks ago, our car was vandalized."

Police are also exploring an arrest back in 1998. Garrison says Michael pled guilty to sexual assault charges in New Hampshire and spent several years in jail. But for now, Garrison thinks about what could have been, glancing at the wedding band Michael gave him three years ago.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King


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