Thursday, June 21, 2007

NY Daily News: Dad's Day Horror - He's Fatally Shot After Deli Feud but Scrambles Hst Look at Baby

Germaine Persaud cradles his baby girl Diniah in family photo at Queens home.

A 22-year-old single dad who had just celebrated his first Father's Day was gunned down outside his Queens home early yesterday - but managed to run inside to get a last glimpse of his baby girl.

Germaine Persaud used his final moments to hug his parents and stumble into his bedroom, where 11-month-old Diniah Destiny was sleeping in her crib.

She was the last thing Persaud saw before he dropped to one knee, collapsed into his father's arms and died, cops and relatives told the Daily News.

"I heard three shots and saw him running up the steps with blood coming out of his mouth," said sister Crystal Persaud, 27. "He went to mom's room. Every time something happened he went to my mother. He always looked for my mother to save him."

But mother, Cheryl, and father, Vernon, could only watch in horror.

"My mom said he tried to tell her something, but she couldn't tell what he was saying," said sister Margaret Persaud, 31. "My parents were in bed. He went over to his dad and said, 'They shot me.' The blood was gushing really fast."

The shooting stemmed from an earlier confrontation in a nearby deli, cops and family said, when Persaud and two cousins got into a staredown with two unknown men and exchanged angry words.

They thought it ended there - but minutes later, the men showed up at the Persaud family's home on 192nd St. in St. Albans.

"You got a problem with me?" said the taller of the two, a black man in his 20s wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a red bandanna, before firing at least six shots at Persaud, his cousins said.

Family members insisted Persaud did not know the shooter or his shorter stocky friend. Cops were questioning two men yesterday, according to family members and a police source.

Persaud emigrated from Guyana with his family when he was 4 years old, his family said.

They said he worked full time for his father's company, VCG Trucking, and was also an aspiring filmmaker who started a company called Hollyhood DVDs, which taped local rap artists and sold the videos to area stores.

But his first love was the daughter he was raising as a single father, his sisters told The News.

"He really loved [Diniah]. He'd bathe her. He would spend the whole day with her," said sister Margaret, a fashion designer.

He got a "World's Best Dad" picture frame as a Father's Day gift on Sunday, and spent the whole day cradling his baby in his arms, she said.

But that night, he went to a nearby party with cousins then stopped at the deli on their way back home after midnight. Persaud went inside to grab some hamburgers, the cousins said - and when he stepped outside at 12:50 a.m., the armed thug was waiting.

"He wanted to have the world," sister Crystal said as her family mourned her youngest sibling.

UPDATE: -Queens man charged in slaying of new dad after Father's Day

A man who shot to death a new dad a day after he celebrated his first Father's Day was arraigned Wednesday on a murder charge, prosecutors said.

The new dad, Germaine Persaud, 21, was standing on the sidewalk in front of his house in Queens on Monday when he was approached by Sherwin Thompson, who asked if he had a problem, prosecutors said. Apparently, the two had been involved in a dispute near a bodega involving two groups of people.

When Persaud, who was raising his 11-month-old daughter alone, replied that he didn't have a problem, Thompson shot him in the heart, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Thompson, 20, was arraigned Wednesday on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He faces 25 years in prison if convicted.

He was being held without bail Wednesday and was scheduled to return to court July 2.

A telephone call to his attorney, Debra Friedenberg, went unanswered Wednesday.