Bar Dispute May Have Led to Fatal Qns Shooting

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Published: March 18, 2012

An argument at a Queens bar may have led to the shooting that took the life of a woman as she was chatting with her husband and another relative on her front porch early Sunday, neighbors and the police said.

The authorities have not made any arrests or named any suspects in connection with the 5:30 a.m. shooting that killed the woman, Sandra Bajnath, and critically injured a 26-year-old man who is believed to be her cousin.

Ms. Bajnath, 39, was on the front porch of her wood-frame house on 135th Street in South Ozone Park with the cousin, whose name was not released, and her husband, Tony Tika, when two men approached and opened fire, the police said.

The couple’s two sons, Anthony, 6, and Robin, who is believed to be less than a year old, were asleep inside the house, according to neighbors.

Ms. Bajnath was shot in the torso and pronounced dead at the scene. Her cousin was hit in the back and taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in critical condition, according to the police.

A family friend, Dolly Sirju, said Mr. Tika was also taken to a hospital and that the children were staying with their grandparents on Long Island. Mr. Tika returned home late Sunday afternoon.

Friends and neighbors gathered on the block throughout the day on Sunday as detectives and police officers came and went.

Details about the shooting and what led to it remained unclear on Sunday night. Several people in the neighborhood said Ms. Bajnath and her cousin had been at a place called the Food Hut Bar, which is on Rockaway Boulevard nearby, when some sort of argument started.

“I heard there was a misunderstanding at the bar and some guys came to the house and started shooting,” said Sean Taylor, 26, who grew up on the block.

An employee of the bar declined to comment on Sunday, other than to say he had not been working on Saturday night.

Ms. Sirju, 46, said that she baby-sat for the elder son and that Ms. Bajnath and Mr. Tika were a loving couple who had no enemies and would never get into trouble. She also said they drank infrequently, usually on special occasions with family and friends. “She was a very, very nice lady,” she said. Ms. Bajnath and Mr. Tika, who met in high school, were from families that came from Trinidad, she added.

Mr. Tika owns a plumbing business and his wife worked for Verizon as a customer service representative, Ms. Sirju said, adding that Ms. Bajnath had just returned to work after a maternity leave.

Joseph Goldstein contributed reporting.

A version of this article appeared in print on March 19, 2012, on page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Bar Dispute May Have Led To Fatal Queens Shooting.

This entry was posted on Monday, March 19th, 2012 at 10:01 am and is filed under Breaking News, Crime, New York Times, Print Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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