A 31-year-old Guyanese man became New York’s first homicide victim for 2017 when he was shot dead during an attempted robbery, which left his younger brother nursing a gunshot wound to the back.
The deceased was identified as Ricky Kalisaran who had travelled from Guyana to attend his grandmother’s funeral scheduled for later this week. His brother, 24-year-old Sunny Kalisaran, is currently hospitalized. No arrests have yet been made.
Stabroek News was unable to make contact with any of Ricky Kalisaran’s relatives in Guyana but it would appear that he resided in the West Demerara area.
According to the New York Daily News the gunman was after a gold chain that the injured brother was wearing and he shot the siblings in front of a building on 124th Street near Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill around 3.25 am.
An inconsolable Anita Kalisaran, 48, the dead man’s mother, explained that he had arrived in New York two days earlier from Guyana to attend the funeral which was set for Wednesday.
“They killed my son. They killed my son for a gold chain. They shot and killed him. He come here for the funeral and (he’s) dead now,” the distraught woman was quoted as saying.
The woman told the media that she last saw her son alive on Sunday night. He had asked her if she would mind him going out with his younger brother for a couple of hours.
“[Sunday] night, he come to ask me if he can go out, and I said, ‘Yes, go’, because he [doesn’t normally] go nowhere,” she was quoted as saying.
Daily News also spoke with one of Sunny’s coworkers who said that the brothers spent the evening at The Underground Lounge, a club on 123rd Street near Liberty Ave, about a block away from where they were shot.
They were walking toward their parked grey Infiniti when the robber approached them and demanded their valuables at gunpoint.
The brothers refused — and struggled for the gun, the news outlet quoted sources as saying. The gunman shot them, then an accomplice pulled up in a dark sedan and they fled.
Five blocks from the murder scene, at 103rd Ave and Lefferts Blvd, the robbers crashed into another car, before fleeing onto the Belt Parkway, sources said. No was injured in the crash.
Paramedics rushed the injured men to Jamaica Hospital, where Ricky died of a chest wound, while Sunny is listed in serious but stable condition. He is unaware of brother’s passing, the report said.
The co-worker told Daily News that he believed the target was Sunny because he was wearing a flashy gold chain.
“He’s told me he used to go to different clubs, people (tried) to rob him of his chain, his jewellery,” the co-worker, who asked to be identified only as Martin, 36, said.
Ann-Marie George, 48, Ricky’s aunt, the news report said held a hysterical Anita in the living room of her Cypress Hills home, and described how her sister-in-law was not only grieving the death of her son, but both her mother, who died last week, and father, who died of cancer four months ago.
George said Sunny went to retrieve his phone from his car near the club and Ricky followed him and found him shot on the ground. It was at this point that the robber shot Ricky. “All for a chain. He fought for his brother.” the woman was quoted as saying.
Ricky’s grieving mother described her son as humble, loving, and hard-working who worked full-time in Guyana in construction and as a cab driver. Daily News stated that he would send much of his earnings to his mother in New York each month.
“He helped me so much,” she said, tears streaming down her face. “Since he was 14 years old. The boy worked so hard.”
Lena George, 58, another of Ricky’s aunts, described him as a good person. “Always happy. Quiet. He’d just sit down, look at you and smile,” she was quoted as saying.
Martin said too that Sunny who is married with a one-year-old son said, “We were trying to talk to him but he’s not responding,”
Martin worked with Sunny on Friday and said they spoke about an upcoming party and wished each other a good weekend.
“This news is shocking to me,” he said. “He’s a very sweet guy, cool. I still can’t believe it. He’s very friendly, he makes a lot of jokes.”
Martin said his colleague buried his father last year, and the death of his brother will be a hard blow.
“We’re not taking it good, so imagine him. He just buried his dad, now he got to go and bury his brother now. … It’s sad.” the man told Daily News.