Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DEATH ON 13th AND A



I went by here shortly after the shooting. Another causality for the NRA and the 2nd amendment.


A bouncer at a slick East Village lounge was killed and two revelers wounded during a wild sidewalk shooting that rattled the trendy neighborhood early Sunday, police and witnesses said.

Eric (Taz) Pagan was off duty and hanging out at Forbidden City, a hip Asian-themed bar on Avenue A near E. 13th St., when he took a fatal bullet to the head trying to break up a fight just outside the lounge at 4:30 a.m., police and witnesses said.

Pagan, 42, and other Forbidden City employees ran from the shuttered bar just as a man stepped out of an idling white van brandishing a handgun, horrified witnesses said.

"He then walked around a car and popped one guy," said Eric Searle, a nightlife promoter standing across the street. "He then walked around another car, went straight up to Taz and [shot] him point-blank in the forehead.

"He collapsed and there was blood pouring everywhere," said Searle, 28. "The shooter didn't say anything - not a word. He just capped those guys and walked back to his car and drove off."

Pagan, a single father, died moments later at Bellevue Hospital.

"He took away a good father. He has to pay for what he did," the bouncer's mother Ellena Pagan, 65, said of the killer. "My son was a wonderful man."

She said the mother of Pagan's 14-year-old daughter died of cancer in 1995 and he adopted her son Andrew, 17.

Andrew, punched a metal sign at the hospital when he heard that his father had died.

"I can't believe this," he said, crying hysterically as he walked outside. "I can't believe this. Why?"

Two other men who were shot had been patrons at Forbidden City earlier, police said.

Robert Calbo, 30, was shot in the hand and Salvador Moran, 31, was hit in the neck. Both men were listed in stable condition at Bellevue.

Investigators were exploring whether Calbo and Moran fought with a group of men near a car parked on Avenue A, leading their attackers to flag down their gun-toting friend in the white van, police said.

One witness said Moran had catcalled a girl who had been standing in front of the bar, perhaps provoking the fight.

When the fight escalated, Pagan ran outside and into the gunman's path, witnesses said.

"If he saw something he would have gotten involved," said his friend Luciene Pina, 39. "He kept everybody safe."

No arrests have been made. Investigators were combing Avenue A, which had been teeming with late-night partygoers in the moments before the shooting, looking for surveillance video of the murder, police said.

A window at the lounge was transformed last night into a shrine, filled with pictures of Pagan and messages from friends. Dozens of people gathered outside, hugging and sharing stories of a man they described as caring and mild-mannered.

"He was a peacemaker," said Allen Rivera, 42. "He was the nicest guy you'd ever meet."

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