Fatal Shooting in Hotel Lobby, Then a Suicide

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By MATT FLEGENHEIMER and IVAN PEREIRA
Published: May 10, 2012

Two men were killed on Thursday in what the authorities described as a murder-suicide in the lobby of a Queens hotel.

The police said that six men, who appeared to be in their 40s, were in the coffee shop in the lobby of theHilton Garden Inn on 134th Street, near Kennedy International Airport, at lunchtime when one of the men shot another in the head before doing the same to himself.

The police identified the first man shot as Brian Weiss, 31, of Davie, Fla., and the shooter as Gary Zalevsky, 47, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla. Efforts to contact their families for comment were unsuccessful.

It was unclear what prompted the gunfire. The four other men were being questioned by the police.

Hours after the shooting, guests and workers at the hotel were still unsettled, and streets remained cordoned off into the evening.

Shortly after 7:45 p.m., the medical examiner’s office removed the body of one victim, in a black bag, through the hotel’s east entrance.

“It’s such a shock,” said Gary Bates-Brown, 48, a hotel steward. “That’s really crazy.”

Earl Bolton, 50, a Hilton guest from Maryland, said he had spent time near the location of the shooting earlier in the day.

“It seemed quiet,” he said.

Kimball Hinton, 48, said he was in his hotel room at the Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel when he heard sirens around 12:30 p.m.

He and about 30 other Sheraton guests went to investigate, he said. “Once that started breaking out,” he said of the sirens, “everyone started breaking out.”

Mr. Bates-Brown said the area where the shooting occurred was typically quiet after breakfast. “That area is pretty much for waiting for the shuttle bus,” he said.

Joseph Goldstein contributed reporting.

A version of this article appeared in print on May 11, 2012, on page A29 of the New York edition with the headline: Fatal Shooting In Hotel Lobby, Then a Suicide.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 11th, 2012 at 10:10 am and is filed under Breaking News, Crime, New York Times. 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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