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Cops: Long Beach man shot to death

Officials investigate the scene where a man was

Officials investigate the scene where a man was shot to death on Hudson Street in Long Beach, Monday. (March 22, 2010) Photo Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Officials said a Long Beach man was shot dead near his home Monday in a case that is being investigated by Nassau County homicide detectives and Long Beach police.

The shooting occurred in the afternoon on East Hudson Street, near the Long Island Rail Road station.

The victim, Ernest Cummings, 46, was pronounced dead at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, according to police and Charles Theofan, Long Beach city manager.

The reason for the shooting was unclear but it may have stemmed from a dispute over a dog, according to Theofan.

Nassau police said homicide detectives were on the scene and handling the investigation with assistance from Long Beach detectives. Long Beach police had responded to a report of a shooting at the location at 3:34 p.m. Authorities blocked off the street where the shooting occurred as the investigation continued Monday night.

Neighbors of the victim said he loved dogs and was a breeder.

"He was very well liked," said Jose Arroyo, 44, who lives on East Market Street, which runs parallel to the site of the shooting. "Like everyone else, we're wondering what happened. I'm very shocked."

Raymond Carolina, 28, another neighbor, said he had just seen the victim Sunday and that the two men chatted about an unofficial pastime of warmer weather: Ping-Pong. Carolina said he often set up a Ping-Pong table for tourneys out in the open.

"I just saw him [Sunday]," Carolina said. "He said, 'Get the PingPong table ready.' "

With Matthew Chayes

and Lauren Cioffi

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