Cops probe fatal Bay Shore shooting

Suffolk County police are investigating a fatal shooting late Wednesday night on Reilly Street in Baywood. Videojournalists: James Carbone and Stringer News (Nov. 3, 2011)

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A Central Islip man was shot to death while sitting in the passenger seat of a car in a residential neighborhood in Bay Shore, Suffolk police said Thursday.

Brandon Sotomayor, 23, was sitting in the car Wednesday night when he was shot about 11:55 p.m., police said.

Police said he was shot by an unknown person, or persons, who the fled on foot on Reilly Street.

Later, police would not confirm how many assailants they were looking for because the investigation is ongoing, said Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky, the department's head of homicide.

Sotomayor was later pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

Yesterday afternoon, Betty Hock came to the scene with friends, a bouquet of flowers and a candle that read "R.I.P. Brandon." Hock, 24, said she learned of Sotomayor's death on Facebook. Hock, an ex-girlfriend who remained close to Sotomayor's family, said the two broke up three years ago. They had dated for six years and spent most of their teen years as a couple, Hock said.

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"I called his mom and told her her son was dead," said a tearful Hock, who said she had just met the family at the morgue, where they identified the body.

"He was a very caring person," she said. "He was the best person to talk to and if he was here right now, he'd be trying to make us laugh."

The fatal shooting is under investigation, and no one has been arrested, police said. Police are asking anyone with information regarding the crime to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.

All calls will remain confidential and, police said, callers are eligible for a cash reward of $5,000 for any information leading to an arrest in the case.

With John Valenti

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