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Man confessed to fatal gas station shooting in Glen Head, prosecutor says

Lawrence Grammer leaves Nassau Police headquarters on Sunday,

Lawrence Grammer leaves Nassau Police headquarters on Sunday, August 5, 2018 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A former Glen Head gas station employee who allegedly shot a co-worker to death last summer called 911 to confess and tell police where to find the gun, a prosecutor said Thursday.

“He’s telling them ‘I shot him.’ He’s telling them where the gun is,” Nassau district attorney’s office Senior Litigation Counsel Martin Meaney told a judge, referring to the call Lawrence Grammer made to 911.

But an attorney for Grammer, 72, of Glen Cove, asked Acting State Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy at the pretrial hearing in Nassau County Court to suppress some of the statements his client allegedly made to police after the slaying last August.

Authorities previously identified the shooting victim as Bashir Ward, 35, of Valley Stream. Grammer pleaded not guilty last year to an indictment charging him with murder and a weapon charge.

Police said after Grammer’s arrest that the victim and suspect had brawled the day before the Aug. 4 shooting at the Citgo station on Glen Head Road, and that Grammer brought a .45-caliber gun to work the next day because he expected another confrontation.

The dispute sparked up again that morning and Grammer shot Ward once in the head with a gun he had in his car, according to police, who said the victim died at the scene.

Ward’s family said in an interview after his slaying that he had been a hardworking man who was devoted to his wife and daughter, then 5.

Nassau Police Officer Kristine Tymeck testified Thursday that Grammer spoke to her after she got into the patrol car where he was seated and later took him to the homicide squad office.

The officer said Grammer told her that he’d called police after the shooting and had tried to direct authorities to the weapon he used — which was found in a car near the scene, according to other testimony.

“I called the cops. I didn’t try to run. I just put the gun out to tell the cops where it is,” Tymeck testified Grammer told her.

But Grammer’s attorney, Joseph Lo Piccolo, argued that police waited too long to inform his client about his Miranda rights.

The Garden City lawyer said police created a “coercive” environment as his client sat in a patrol car — its police radio on — that led to Grammer into “involuntarily giving this information.”

Lo Piccolo also wants statements Grammer made at the homicide squad office thrown out, and in addition, has asked Murphy to suppress physical evidence related to gunshot residue and blood.

But Meaney told the judge Thursday that Grammer’s call to 911 before he also spoke to police later demonstrates the “voluntariness” of the defendant’s statements.

“He’s taking responsibility for his actions,” Meaney said. “There was no coercion.”

The judge is expected to announce his ruling July 8, when Grammer, a registered sex offender with a third-degree rape conviction, is due back in court.

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