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Long IslandCrime

Police investigate shooting death of man outside Brentwood home

The father of Florentino Hernandez-Zavala, 25, who was found shot to death in the road in front of his home in Brentwood on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017,  speaks out about what happened. Credit: News12 Long Island

A Brentwood man was shot in the head and killed in front of his home Friday morning, police said.

Florentino Hernandez-Zavala, 25, was found in the roadway on Meadowbrook Drive shortly after 5:35 a.m. when officers responded to a 911 call of shots fired, police said.

“We believe he was shot multiple times — at least two times, if not more,” said Assistant Suffolk County Police Commissioner Justin Meyers.

Some residents who live in the neighborhood said they didn’t hear gunshots, but others did.

Jose Urena, 58, a construction worker who lives a few houses from where police found Hernandez-Zavala’s body, said he was up Friday morning when shots rang out.

“It was eight of them at first. Then two more shots,” Urena said. “Then, the guy took off on a motorcycle.”

Within five to 10 minutes, Urena said police cars swarmed the streets.

A man who lives on Meadowbrook Drive said he heard only five gunshots.

“Just boom, boom, boom, boom and that was it,” said the man, who only identified himself as Tony. “It was loud. It must’ve been a heavy-duty gun.”

At first, Tony said he thought someone tried to break into his sheds by shooting at the locks. When he looked into his backyard and didn’t see anyone, he went back to bed.

It was hours later when Tony left the house that he learned a man had been shot and killed.

“He was in the middle of the street, down there,” Tony said. “He was just laying down, face down.”

Urena and Tony, who have lived in the neighborhood for five decades and 18 years respectively, said gunshots are a common occurrence in the area. Police cruisers are seen patrolling the streets regularly, Urena said, but added that gangs continued to thrive in neighborhood.

“It’s been going up,” said Urena. “It’s getting worse.”

The victim’s father, Santos Hernandez, told News 12 Long Island his son was not involved in gang activity. Hernandez said the shooting occurred when his son went outside to start his car to take his girlfriend to work.

The Hernandez-Zavala shooting comes in the midst of a police effort to clamp down on gang-related crimes in Brentwood. The crackdown came after six gang-related killings, including those of five teenagers in Brentwood last year. Police have not announced any arrests in those killings.

Suffolk homicide detectives investigating the shooting have asked for the public’s help.

With Gary Dymski


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