Cops ask for help in Hempstead shooting

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Police are asking the public for help in finding whoever shot and killed a man Wednesday night while he was on Lawson Street, a residential road in Hempstead Village.

Nassau police, the agency handling the homicide investigation, would not release the victim's name. However, Hempstead Village Police Chief Michael McGowan identified him as Ramel Blanco, 29, of Hempstead Village.

Officers responded to a 911 call for help and found the man on Lawson Street, near Pierson Avenue, at about 8:10 p.m., Nassau police said in a news release. The caller had reported hearing shots fired.

Two people who live in the area said they heard the shots, but thought it was firecrackers.

One woman, who didn't want her name used, said she walked to the corner where the victim was found, and police had roped off the area as a crime scene. She said she saw a black four-door sedan, with its driver's side door ajar, stopped about 2 to 3 feet from the curb. Police would not say whether the man who was shot was driving or walking when he was shot.

"The police were counting shell casings," in and around the car, she said.

Nassau police Thursday would not disclose any other details regarding the shooting. Blanco's mother declined to comment Thursday, according to a woman who answered the phone at her home.

The fatal shooting marks the fourth homicide in Hempstead Village this year, according to Nassau police. Police ask anyone with information regarding the shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.

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