Police question person-of-interest in double shooting inside Staten Island business

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Darla Miles has the latest.

Police on Staten Island are questioning a 32-year-old former coworker of two men who were gunned down inside Universal Merchant Funding, a loan business in Dongan Hills.

The shooting happened on 124 Buel Avenue at Universal Merchant Funding on Tuesday night.


The former coworker of the victims was picked up in Canarsie, Brooklyn, on an unrelated federal warrant on Wednesday. The motive appears to be money owed from a previous business dispute.

An armed man wearing a mask went inside the business once it was closed, and shot the men in their heads just before 6:30 p.m. Even though this office offered cash advances, Eyewitness News is told there was barely any cash kept in the office. Detectives say nothing was taken during the shooting.

Traumatized loved ones rushed to the scene upon hearing the news of the shooting.

"We used to call people on the phone and give them loans, simple as that," said Devon Rocco, a former employee.

Rocco says he used to work there until three months ago. The thought that he could've been in the office Tuesday night was indeed unnerving.

"Michael Genovese (the owner,) he was a good guy, he was a little wild, but he knew how to run his business, he did his thing," Rocco said.

Moments after Rocco's interview, the former employee was taken away by detectives as there are more questions than answers right now.

The double murder, almost execution style, happened in a quiet residential neighborhood. It promoted community advocate Tony Herbert to offer a $2,500 reward.

"We need to get these guns off the street," Herbert said.

The suspect fled toward Hylan Boulevard in a gray or charcoal-colored sedan. So far there are no arrests.
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newsshootingDongan HillsNew York City
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