Thursday, September 10, 2009

Queens Man is Shot Dead in a Home Invasion Robbery While Attempting to Protect His Dad by Barry Paddock and Rocco Parascandola - NY Daily News

Read original...

A Queens man who was shot in the head while trying to defend his dad during a late-night robbery attempt has died.

Police said Gerardo Antoniello, 29, was shot about 10 p.m. Wednesday, as he scuffled with a pair of armed bandits who followed his father home from the family pizzeria Wednesday night.

Antoniello was taken to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition and died about 6:30 a.m. Thursday.

"I don't understand what kind of people would do something like this," said Frank Rossomangno, 31, the victim's best friend.

"Rob them, do what you have to do and leave. Why do you have to kill someone?"

Cops believe the suspects were lying in wait for Romeo Antoniello when he came home Wednesday night after picking up cash from Romeo's Pizzeria in Ozone Park.

Hearing a commotion, his son came out of the house and tried to stop the attack, cops said. "There was a scuffle at the door and the father was hit in the head," a police source said.

"The son comes from inside and tries to help the father. He gets shot in the head."

As the suspects ran off empty-handed -- leaving behind a knapsack and packing tape -- Romeo Antoniello and his wife, Gaetana, placed a frantic call to another son, Carmine, a Queens Task Force cop who called 911.

Scores of officers descended on the family's Ozone Park home.

The dad was roughed up by the suspects but not hurt. His 58-year-old also was not hurt. Neighbors were stunned. "It's a shame," said Steve King, 32, a regular at the pizzeria.

"Nice place, good food, hard-working man. (The father is) there all the time." Another neighbor, Pat, 53, who would not give her last name, called the family "great people." "Down-to-earth, honest, hard-working -- great people to have in the neighborhood," she said.

"I'm in fear for my own life now. If they can push people into their own homes, what's to keep them from coming to where I live?"

After the shooting, police searched the area with dogs and a helicopter in a vain attempt to find the suspects.