A 27-year-old father who family members said was trying to turn his life around was shot to death early Friday inside his Wyandanch home, Suffolk County police said.
Tehron Sims, who relatives said had recently returned from taking his 7-year-old son to Disneyland, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said the shooting was reported in a 911 call at 3:30 a.m.
His aunt, Shira Robinson, 36, of Amityville stood near the yellow police tape that cordoned off the block to the home on South 29th Street waiting to see if police would tell her what happened.
She said Sims had begun to turn his life around and had just celebrated the grand opening of his clothing store on Deer Park Avenue in Deer Park.
"He was a wonderful human being," Robinson said. "He lived for his son."
Robinson said the mother of Sims' son "is devastated. She just doesn't know how she is going to break the news to his son."
Records show that Sims had twice served time in prison, once for criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal contempt, and the second time for criminal possession of a controlled substance.
He was charged two years ago with shooting three people at a party, but prosecutors and his defense attorney at the time said that case fell apart. The witness who identified him as the shooter recanted her testimony, and ballistics tests showed that Sims' gun was not the one used in the shooting, said Robert Clifford, spokesman for the Suffolk district attorney's office.
Sims pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor weapons possession charge and was sentenced to time served, which by then was 8 months in jail.
He was scheduled to appear in court Friday on two new charges -- aggravated driving without a license and a misdemeanor heroin possession charge, Clifford said.
His former attorney, Phil Murphy of Bay Shore, said he remembered Sims well.
"I found him to be very respectful, considerate and appreciative of the advice I gave him," Murphy said. "I feel bad for his family."
The circumstances of the shooting were not immediately clear. Police did not release details, citing the continuing investigation.
Police are asking anyone with information on the shooting to contact Homicide Squad detectives at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 800-220-TIPS.