Bouncer killed outside of East Village lounge
A bouncer known as the “neighborhood good guy” was shot and killed as he tried to break up a fight outside a trendy East Village lounge yesterday, police and a witness said.The shooting occurred outside Forbidden City on Avenue A between 13th and 14th streets about 4:25 a.m., the witness said. The bouncer, Eric Pagan, 42, was off-duty and had stopped by to visit co-workers when the fight broke out, the witness said. Two bystanders were wounded in the shooting. The witness, lounge manager Ron Ancheta, said the altercation began when a white van almost hit the two bystanders, and a shouting match erupted. Pagan went to help, and that’s when the driver of the van got out and started shooting, he said “Everyone was saying no, no don’t get involved, but that’s just who he is,” Ancheta said. “It’s his neighborhood. He’s pulling people away, and unfortunately he’s the one who gets shot.” Police would not comment on the investigation. Newsday reported the gunman retaliated after Pagan threw him out of the nightspot. The gunman fled and remains at large. “It was so quick, so shocking,” said Ancheta, who had known Pagan for about six years. Pagan was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital. The two bystanders were shot, one in the stomach and the other in the hand, according to Newsday. They also were taken to Bellevue where they were in stable condition yesterday evening. Pagan, whose teenage daughter and son lost their mother to illness eight years ago, was well known in the neighborhood, not only as Forbidden City’s bouncer, but also as a man everyone could rely on to stay safe, said Ancheta. He often walked women home and could intimidate people without doing much more than displaying his large stature. Pagan was known for his friendliness. “He goes into every bar on the block and says hi,” Ancheta said.