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Manhunt continues in Hempstead double-shooting, police offer reward

Emergency personnel work a possible hostage situation after

Emergency personnel work a possible hostage situation after two men were shot on a residential street in Hempstead on Monday, May 5, 2014, Hempstead Village police said. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The intensive search for the suspect in a double homicide continued Tuesday, as police offered a $5,000 reward leading to the shooter's arrest.

After a tense 12-hour siege outside a home in Hempstead Village Monday yielded nothing, police Tuesday maintained a perimeter for about a half-block in each direction from the house on Belmont Parkway. They cordoned off the area with yellow crime-scene tape, and investigators continued to comb the neighborhood as residents trickled in and out.

Police were seen going through and then towing away an older model maroon Mitsubishi Galant, in which, a witness said, one of the victims was shot.

Authorities have still not released the identity of the suspect, who they said gunned down two men on the residential block on Monday at about 1:15 p.m. The identities of the victims also have not been released. One died at the scene and the other hours later at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow.

Nassau and Hempstead police, including special tactical units and hostage negotiators, surrounded the home Monday after they received information that someone had run into the home, Hempstead police Lt. Frank McNamee said.

Throughout the day and night Monday, hostage negotiators repeatedly tried to make contact with the suspect, believed to be inside, phoning him and calling him out over a loudspeaker, addressing someone named "Roberto."

Around midnight, police sent a robot into the house, only to find two dogs and nothing else.

Nassau police Det. Lt. John Azzata, commanding officer of the homicide squad, said early Tuesday, "They searched the home and eventually, after trying to make contact with what was believed to be the subject remaining in the house, that subject was not found in the house. The search is continuing."

Azzata said there is a $5,000 reward being offered for information on the shooter's whereabouts.

One neighbor, Maria Agraz, 45, who lives across the street from the shooting scene, said she and her three sisters were home Monday when they heard three shots. Agraz said she noticed two men running into a house across the street -- the same one police later surrounded.

"We went out to look and we saw one guy on the lawn not moving and another in a car," Agraz said in Spanish. Agraz said she saw the two men leave the house within five minutes and start walking north toward Jerusalem Avenue -- even as police began arriving.

She said she didn't get to see the men's faces because their backs were toward her and their heads down. Agraz said she later tried to tell officers, in Spanish, what she saw but "they didn't understand."

"We told them. 'They went inside and they left. There is no one there,' " she recalled.

Agraz said she and her sisters all ran out to see how they could help the man in the car who, she said, spilled out of the passenger side facedown and was losing a lot of blood.

That victim would later be pronounced dead at the hospital.

She said once police arrived, the family went inside and stayed there, as ordered by police.

Insp. Kenneth Lack, a police spokesman, said he had no comment on the case.

With John Valenti, Ellen Yan and Candice Ruud

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