Grainy security video shows the moment a hard-working Ecuadorian immigrant was shot dead during what police described as a robbery gone deadly outside a Brooklyn gas station.
Javier Sanchez, 33, lived less than two blocks from where he was killed and was on his way home when police said he was surrounded by a group of men who shot him in the head.
“He came home,” said Sanchez’s cousin Paul Euza, 25. “He went to a party and danced and hung out.”
Video shows at least three men confronting Sanchez in the parking lot of the BP gas station on Myrtle Ave. at Irving Ave. in Bushwick.
They struggle and at one point Sánchez is knocked to the ground by a parked car. He gets up, walks towards the men and falls motionless on the sidewalk for the second time.
Footage from the convenience store near the gas station appears to show one of the men in the group grabbing a case of Modelo beer before meeting a friend inside. They go to pay for their booze, and just two minutes before the confrontation, one of the men appears to be urinating right outside the station.
It is not clear from the video what role both men played in Sanchez’s shooting.
“There are a lot of robberies here. They’re local men, so they only drink in the neighborhood,” says Waquir Mazhar, who manages the BP gas station. “That’s why we had to install bulletproof glass. I think it was last year after we got robbed.
“You just go about your own business and you don’t know you won’t have a day the next day.”
Police records show nine robberies within a one-block radius of the gas station in the first eight months of this year, including one robbery at the gas station on March 8.
Overall robberies in the 83rd Precinct are up nearly 8%, with 223 on Aug. 27, compared to 207 in the corresponding period last year.
Neighbors have described the corner as a magnet for drinking and fighting after the sun goes down.
Sanchez came to the US 13 months ago from Ambato, Ecuador, where his four-year-old daughter and her mother still live, according to his cousin Euza.
The little girl still doesn’t know what happened to her father, Euza said.
“She’s too young. She’s only four,” he said, adding that his family’s grief is compounded by living a continent away. “There are no words for our grief. It’s very, very sad.”
Euza described Sanchez as “a very joyful person” and a devoted father and friend.
Erika Carillo, 27, who rents a room in the same apartment as Sanchez, said the victim sent money back to his family so they could care for his child.
“It is devastating for his daughter. He was very kind and considerate with my kids. He often played with them.” said Carillo, a fellow Ecuadorian immigrant and mother of two. “I’m shocked. So surprised. This whole area is very unsafe. It’s hard to relax when it happened outside on the street.”
She added, “He was happy, hardworking and calm. He lived here with his cousins who had come to New York earlier.’
Police were looking for four men who fled the scene on Sunday morning. As of Monday afternoon, police had not made any arrests.