Police search with metal detector near where a man was...

Police search with metal detector near where a man was abducted and killed in Woodmere. (June 15, 2010) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

A Woodmere man suffered a fatal gunshot wound early Tuesday while fleeing a moving vehicle in which armed assailants had abducted him and his friend, Nassau police said.

Wounded and bleeding from the chest, the man in his early 20s clambered through backyards before collapsing onto a neighbor's patio while begging for help, police said. He died in the hospital, nearly nine hours after the 2 a.m. shooting.

The assailants who abducted the men shortly before the shooting, are being sought by the police, said chief spokesman Det. Lt. Kevin Smith.

Neither victim has been publicly identified. One young man is the son of the homeowner where the abduction began and the other is his friend, who lives in the home, on South End Avenue. Police didn't say which one sustained the fatal wound.

The shooting victim was pronounced dead at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside at 10:44 a.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Before being taken at gunpoint outside the home, the men had returned from a location in Elmont that Smith wouldn't identify. That's when they were accosted by the two assailants, police said. Property was taken, but police didn't elaborate.

The assailants forced the men into a black 2004 Infiniti sedan. One escaped near the South End home. The other tried the same feat on nearby Andover Lane and was shot, police said.

The homeowners, parents of one of the victims, slept through the episode, Smith said. He said it was unclear whether the suspects knew the assailants.

The homeowners bought the property in November, property records show.

"It's unknown right now what the motive is behind this crime. It could have been a home invasion. It could have been a robbery. It's unknown whether these two people were targeted. It's unknown whether this was random," Smith said.

Neighbors on Andover and nearby Peninsula Boulevard described screams as the victim stumbled through their yards.

" 'Help! Help!' " the young man screamed before police found him in her yard, according to a woman who did not want to give her name out of fear of the assailants. She said she and her husband were "terrified" and called the police.

Residents described the community as safe and quiet. "This is a rarity," said Suzi Goldberg, 47, who lives nearby and has sold real estate on the block.

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