Dispute over cigar ends in deadly shooting of deli worker in Brooklyn

ByPhil Taitt, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
Police searching for gunman in fatal shooting of deli worker
CeFaan Kim has the latest.

CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A memorial is growing for a deli worker who was fatally shot in the head in Brooklyn. as his killer remains on the loose.

Police said bullets flew on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights around 4:15 p.m. Monday.

The worker was identified as 37-year-old Nazim Berry. Police say he was not an actual paid employee of the store, but someone who hung around did odd jobs.

His mother said he grew up in the neighborhood and worked at the deli for a long time. She said before the gunfire erupted, there was some form of a dispute after the gunman asked her son to buy him a Black and Mild cigar.

When the victim told him no, the man left and then apparently returned with a gun.

Police said upon their arrival, Berry was found with a gunshot wound to the head and died at a NYC Health + Hospitals - Kings County.

"That's Nazim, beautiful person," said Danette Hollie, the victim's mother. "I knew it was senseless. I knew it had to be over something stupid, because I know his heart, and Nasim's here working and loving everybody and helping where he can help."

Hollie said her son recently complained to her that people would harass him for free merchandise and refused to take no for an answer.

No arrests have been made, and the gunman remains on the run.

Police have recovered surveillance video from the scene as well as from the turnstile camera at the nearby Medgar / Franklin Ave subway station. When the suspect jumped the turnstile while fleeing, he placed his bloody hand on it and detectives are working on getting a print from that.

Neighbors in Crown Heights wiped away the pain Tuesday for a man they say was quiet and calm and always considerate.

"I'm just sad, I used to see him in the store like every day," a neighbor said. "Just always really nice. Always nice, always complimenting me, always helping with the bags, always helping with the store."

If anyone has any information, they are asked to call police.

The United Bodegas of America is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

They released statements saying:

"This is simply out of control. We cannot continue to do business in a City plagued with criminals that simply want to take over our properties", said Radahmes Rodriguez President of UBA.

"Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Berry family and we expect the NYPD will take this thug off the streets. A young life was taken for no good reason, without cause. These men/women go out to serve their communities and this is what they get. This guy must be caught and punished for this murder" said Fernando Mateo, spokesman for the UBA.

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Kemberly Richardson has more.


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