Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Queens Father of Two Killed in Ambush by Sonja Sharp, Sarah Armaghan and Wil Cruz - NY Daily News

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Cops were hunting for a phantom gunman Monday who whacked a 41-year-old father near his Queens home.

Christopher Castellano was walking toward his car outside of his 79th St. townhouse in Howard Beach when he was ambushed Sunday just before midnight and shot in the back of the head.

"I saw him all laid out with a big hole in the back of his head," said neighbor Will Gonzalez, 38.

Castellano, who had two children and dabbled in several small businesses according to relatives, died immediately.

"He's a nice guy. There's no reason for this to happen," said Enrico Ardiso, 62, Castellano's uncle. "He took good care of his kids."

Ardiso said Castellano's mom booked a flight from Florida as soon as she heard the news.

Police said no one has been arrested.

The hit left Howard Beach residents spooked.

Daniel Pardo, 20, suspected that the timing of the killing - with Fourth of July fireworks blasting all night - was no coincidence.

"It's the perfect time to do something like this," he said. "No one thinks twice when they hear a loud noise because we all think it's fireworks."

Gil Suarez, who has lived in the area for 22 years, couldn't shake the shock. "Nothing like this ever happens here," Suarez, 46, said. "It's crazy."