'This Is Madness' / Deaf and mute man shot dead at B'klyn bus stop

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A deaf and mute Brooklyn man was fatally shot early Friday

while waiting to catch a bus home after basketball practice, police said.

Kevin Lazare, 25, of East New York, was waiting near a B15 bus shelter at

Rockaway and Hegeman avenues in Brownsville when he was shot three times in the

back, police said.

Lazare, who had left a nearby recreational center a few hours before the

1:30 a.m. shooting, was taken to Brookdale Hospital Center. He clung to life

for several hours before dying, his stepfather, Kenneth Mano, said.

It was not clear, authorities said, how many people were involved in the

shooting or how many shots were fired. Police, who said they had no suspects or

motives, were still searching for witnesses.

At the Millford Avenue home where Lazare's family was already grieving the

murder of his father in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, only two weeks ago,

family members said they were convinced Kevin Lazare was the victim of an

unprovoked attack.

Police said they had ruled out robbery because they found a few dollars in

Lazare's wallet.

"I don't think this guy had enemies," Mano said. "He was just a good, good

guy. You could ask anything of him."

"He can handle himself," he added. "You gotta know that this guy is deaf

and mute to know that he's handicapped. Otherwise, he looks like an ordinary

guy."

Mano said he had given Lazare $10 on Thursday night, before he left for the

Brooklyn Recreational Center, a Police Athletic League facility at IS 275. The

bus stop is in front of the center.

A plastic bag in a bedroom of the home held blood-stained items recovered

by police: blue basketball trunks, black jeans and a gray down jacket with

three bullet piercings on its back.

"The only thing he liked was his basketball," Kevin's mother, Kathleen

Lazare, said at the bus shelter minutes after a cardboard box containing five

votive candles was placed there as a memorial.

"This is madness!" a family friend shouted as Kathleen Lazare arrived at

the scene with two bouquets of flowers. "A man can be walking down the street

and nobody sees nothing! Nobody cares!"

Family members said Lazare, who was born deaf and mute, spent most of his

evenings practicing his three-point shots at the center.

When not working for his stepfather's construction business, they said, he

spent most of his time in the neighborhood around IS 275. His mother owns a

tailor shop a few blocks away, and his aunt lives nearby.

Lazare, who graduated from George Westinghouse High School, was attending a

vocational training school, Mano said.

On Thursday, Lazare picked up his sister, Kareen Mano, from school, before

heading to the center, his mother said. Friday, Kareen, 12, sat in the family's

living room surrounded by grieving relatives.

"When I heard he got shot, I thought he would survive," she said. "But he

passed away. I never thought he would die."

Crimestoppers is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to an

arrest. Call 800-577-TIPS.

Staff writer Sean Gardiner contributed to this story.

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