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Armed with a sketch of one of the suspects, area police have begun a full-court press in their search for the duo that shot and killed a respected Corrections Officer in a hair-brained robbery attempt.
Friends said that Kenneth Duncan, 41, an avid motorcyclist and proud owner of a red Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14, was with a friend preparing their bikes for the spring riding season in a garage at back of his home on Avenue A near East 88th Street in Remsen Village at 3:15 a.m. on April 22 when two men confronted them.
The four had words and the two strangers made threats, claiming that they were going to steal one of the motorcycles, according to published reports.
The two men left, but soon returned, apparently trying to make good on their promise.
During the exchange that followed, one of the suspects pulled a gun and fired. Duncan, who is licensed to have a firearm, reportedly drew his weapon as well.
At the end of the ensuing gunfight, Duncan was the one on the ground, felled by a bullet to the head.
The two men ran off empty-handed.
Police do not believe that either of the thieves was injured, since the bullet Duncan fired was found embedded in a car parked near the garage.
Duncan was rushed to Brookdale Hospital where he died of his injuries. His friend, the only witness to the early-morning exchange, was not injured, officials said.
Investigators said that several people have been questioned in connection with the shooting, but no one had been charged by press time.
Two guns were reportedly found in the trash near a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts during a canvass of the area that night, but it was unclear if the weapons were involved in the murder.
Friends and colleagues described Duncan, a father of two, as a “Mr. Fix-it” who wouldn’t think twice about helping his friends fix their bikes, no matter what the hour.
The 17-year veteran of the Department of Corrections was assigned to the Manhattan Detention Center, where he would transport prisoners from Manhattan Central Booking to the jail.
“Our officers perform tough, dangerous work every day,” said a spokesman for the city Department of Corrections, who said Duncan was an “excellent officer” and “a stand-up guy.”
“When one of them goes home to his labor of love and ends up as a victim of a violent attack, it is just very sad,” the spokesman said.
The city, as well as the Corrections Officer Endowment Association, have culled together a $5,000 reward for any information that would lead to the gunman’s arrest and indictment.
Calls can be made to the NYPD CrimeStoppers hotline at (800) 577-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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