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Nassau cops investigate fatal shooting of 21-year-old man in Freeport

Votive candles line the curb in front of

Votive candles line the curb in front of a home on Colonial Avenue in Freeport where a 21-year-old man was found fatally shot in the head early Sunday morning, Dec. 28, 2014, according to Nassau County police. Credit: Howard Schnapp

A 21-year-old auto mechanic was fatally shot at a Freeport house party over the weekend and Nassau County police said Monday they're looking for a lone gunman who targeted the victim.

Lyreek Crawley, of Freeport, was shot once in the head at a home on Colonial Avenue early Sunday, Nassau police said. Freeport police responded to the scene about 1:10 a.m. after receiving a ShotSpotter gunshot detection system alert and a 911 call, police said. A Nassau police ambulance medical technician pronounced Crawley dead at the scene at 1:14 a.m., police said.

"This is not a random act," said Det. Lt. John Azzata, commanding officer of Nassau's homicide squad. He said the shooter and the victim were among about 20 guests at the party, which was organized through social media, but it was unclear whether the two knew each other.

Azzata said police do not yet have a motive, but are interviewing witnesses and combed the scene for "forensic evidence." He declined to identify the evidence gathered.

Azzata said the shooter is a man, but declined to provide a description.

A street memorial consisting of dozens of candles hugged the curb outside the Colonial Avenue home Monday.

On Twitter and Facebook, friends mourned Crawley, who was known as "Reek."

A relative of Crawley's who didn't give her name described him as "just a humble, good kid." She said he had graduated from Roosevelt High School.

His mother declined to comment.

Crawley worked part-time as a mechanic at a Baldwin Jiffy Lube, assistant manager Ron Daniel said. "He was a great kid; he was a great person," Daniel said. "He was hardworking."

A woman who was at the home where police said the shooting occurred told Newsday Monday she had been in North Carolina visiting family for the Christmas holiday and that her son, 21, threw the party without her permission. She declined to give her name and said she had no additional details. Her son was unavailable. Azzata confirmed the woman was out of town at the time of the shooting.

Manny Salcedo, who lives on Colonial Avenue, said he and his brother were watching a movie when they heard three or four gunshots. He said the first few shots sounded "low and far away" but the last shot was "really loud."

"We heard gunshots and a lot of people screaming . . . 'He got killed. He killed him!' " said Salcedo, 28, who works in sales and has lived on the street for 20 years. "Some people jumped in a car and drove away. Others were crying. . . . It's very unfortunate."

Jesse Baldwin said he's lived in his Colonial Avenue home for 40 years and the street is usually quiet.

"We've never had anything like this on this block," said Baldwin, a retired transit worker in his 60s. "These are young kids . . . they should have been enjoying themselves. It was a party. I don't know what got into them, but it's not good."

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