Sunday, February 21, 2010

Two Queens Men Sitting in SUV Slain Execution-Style in New Jersey by Lisa L. Colangelo,Michael J. Feeney and John Lauinger - NY Daily News

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New Jersey police investigate a double homicide Thursday in Teaneck where two Queens men were shot in a possible hit while they sat in their SUV. Zehawi/Bergen Record

Two Queens men were executed inside an SUV in New Jersey on Wednesday night - and the bullet-riddled vehicle's engine was still running when the bodies were found Thursday, authorities said.

Anthonia Njoku of Teaneck, N.J., was leaving for work around 7 a.m. when she spotted a black Ford Explorer with New York plates parked outside her home on Oakdene Ave., a quiet block near Interstate 95.

"She came close enough to see that the guy [in the passenger seat] was shot," said Njoku's daughter, Amaka, 27. "She couldn't believe it. She's terrified."

The slumped-over driver was Jonathan Beneduce, 28, of Howard Beach. Slain in the passenger seat was Michael Mirasola, 27, of Ozone Park. Both had been shot multiple times, authorities said.

The bloody hit was straight out of a Hollywood shoot-'em-up flick: The passenger-side front door was wide open, and blood was splattered on a nearby snowbank. There were bullet holes in the passenger-side front window and in the windshield, Amaka Njoku said.

Beneduce and Mirasola were both unemployed and lived with their parents, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli confirmed in a statement that shed no light on a possible motive for the gruesome slaying.

The Explorer - registered to Beneduce - was towed away yesterday with the corpses still inside.

An unmarked police car with New Jersey plates showed up at Beneduce's home yesterday, but a resident declined to comment.

Investigators were "exploring every angle," a law enforcement source said, including the possibility of a Mafia-related rubout, which the source thought was unlikely.