‘Law & Order’ Crew Member Is Fatally Shot at Brooklyn Film Location
A Brooklyn film location for a ripped-from-the-headlines television crime show became a murder scene early Tuesday when a man who was enforcing parking restrictions connected to the production was fatally shot while he sat in a car, the police said.
The killing happened on North Henry Street near Norman Avenue in the Greenpoint neighborhood as a crew working on the crime show, “Law & Order: Organized Crime,” was preparing to film on the block, according to the police and fliers posted there.
The police identified the victim as Johnny Pizarro, 31, of Queens.
Mr. Pizarro, whose job was to make sure the street was clear so that vehicles affiliated with the show could park, was sitting in a car when a lone assailant approached the vehicle, opened the door and shot him in the head and neck, the police said. He was taken to Woodhull Hospital Center in Brooklyn, where he was pronounced dead, the police said.
No arrest had been made and no motive had been established by Tuesday afternoon, the police said. A short, thin man in a black hooded sweatshirt and dark pants was seen running from where the shooting occurred, the police said.
“Law & Order: Organized Crime,” which airs on NBC and stars Christopher Meloni, is the latest iteration of the durable crime-procedural franchise created by the producer Dick Wolf. It is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, in association with Wolf Entertainment, and is filming its third season.
“We were terribly saddened and shocked to hear that one of our crew members was the victim of a crime early this morning and has died as a result,” a spokeswoman for NBC and Universal Television said in a statement. “We are working with local law enforcement as they continue to investigate.”
The block where the killing occurred is lined with large trees and mostly three-story homes inhabited by a mix of longtime residents and newer arrivals. Msgr. McGolrick Park, a shady, dog-friendly oasis, is close by. Monthly rents for some renovated units run from $3,500 to $5,000, according to online listings.
The area is in the 94th Precinct, where serious crime is relatively rare, according to police statistics. There had not been a murder in the precinct this year as of Sunday, the data shows.
Janus Czuj, a 35-year neighborhood resident who lives around the corner from the site of the shooting, said violent crime was indeed rare in the area.
“Every night I walk here,” Mr. Czuj, 60, said, adding that there was “never a single problem” in the neighborhood and “never something crazy like this.”
He said his truck had been parked Monday evening on the block where the killing occurred and that a man he believed was Mr. Pizarro had asked him to move it.
“I saw him yesterday,” Mr. Czuj said. He added: “He was so energetic.”
Gabrielle Van den Berg, who lives across the street from where the shooting happened, said her husband had gone outside after hearing shots, then came back inside after noticing nothing amiss.
“It was really loud,” Ms. Van den Berg said of the gunfire. “I’m pretty sure it was three gunshots.”
Crews filming shows like “Law & Order: Organized Crime” have long been a presence in certain city neighborhoods, often to the chagrin of local residents who are frustrated about having to give up coveted parking spaces to make way for production-related vehicles.
Such productions typically post notices on light poles advising residents about when they must move their cars and when filming will begin. Workers affiliated with a production, like Mr. Pizarro, will then sit out all night to ensure that the streets are clear and stay that way.
In the case of the “Law & Order: Organized Crime” production, fliers indicated that cars were to be moved off the block by 10 p.m. Monday and that filming was set to begin at 6 a.m. Tuesday — about an hour after Mr. Pizarro was killed.
The shooting prompted production to shut down for the day. A little after 4 p.m., the last police investigators left the area, as did a tow truck pulling what was presumably the car that Mr. Pizarro was in when he was shot.
Olivia Bensimon contributed reporting.
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