2 charged with murder in Ozone Park shooting

December 24, 2009 12:14:00 PM PST
Two men were charged in the killing of a Queens pizzeria owner's son who was fatally shot when he came to his parents' aid during a push-in robbery at their Ozone Park home. Police say 37-year-old Jason Burrell and 30-year-old Rashod Cowan were taken into custody in the September 9 murder of 29-year-old Gerardo Antoniello.

Both were charged with second-degree murder, as well as attempted robbery, burglary, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Burrell was one of three people picked up by detectives for an earlier home invasion involving one of Antoniello's relatives. DNA placed him at the murder scene.

That home invasion, which occurred five days before Antoniello's killing, also netted the arrest of a third man, 23-year old-Shawn Stallworth.

All three are charged in that case with first-degree burglary, first- and second-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Antoniello, the brother of an NYPD officer, was killed trying to protect his family from the would-be push-in robbers, who tried to mug his father as he carried home money from the family's pizzeria, Romeo's on Cross Bay Boulevard.

Detectives told Antoniello's family of the arrests last night, and said more people could have been involved.

Friends praised the arrests on the "Justice for Jerry" Facebook page, set up to remember the beloved building manager.

"That is excellent news, God's gift so to speak! I am sure your brother is smiling down from Heaven upon your family, stay strong and God bless," wrote one person.

"May God continue to bless and comfort you all through this time of the year," another wrote. "You all are not alone, there is a whole community praying for you all. Remember God is not asleep and the ones who did this to your son/brother will have their day in court."