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Cops probe 2 fatal shootings

Suffolk investigators stand outside a home on East

Suffolk investigators stand outside a home on East Poplar Street in Central Islip where Christian Jordan of Amityville was fatally wounded in a shooting early Sunday. Police said Jordan was shot when a group at a house party had gone outside to settle a dispute. He was pronounced dead at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. (Feb. 19, 2012) Credit: Jim Staubitser

Gunfire claimed the lives of two Suffolk County men within hours of each other early Sunday -- one shot after a dispute broke out at a house party and another gunned down as he drove along Sunrise Highway.

Christian Jordan, 20, of Amityville, was killed when a fracas erupted at a party attended by about 80 people in Central Islip and spilled outside the home, Suffolk County police said.

Sometime during the commotion on East Poplar Street about 1:30 a.m., Jordan was shot once. He was taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Another man, who was not identified, was assaulted with a broken bottle, police said. He suffered cuts to the left side of his neck and jaw, and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

About 21/2 hours later, Bennie Rouse, 22, of Central Islip, was shot and killed as he drove west on Sunrise Highway in Bohemia with a female cousin, police said.

A car pulled up next to his, and an occupant of the vehicle fired several shots at Rouse's car, said Det. Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky, commanding officer of the Homicide Squad.

Rouse was struck in the chest, but managed to steer his car to the side of the road, Pelkofsky said.

An acquaintance, who had been following Rouse in a separate vehicle, took him to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Rouse's cousin, who was not identified, was not injured.

Rouse lives on East Elm Street, which is just blocks from where the East Poplar Street house party took place. Police say they have not ruled out a connection between the two killings.

Jordan's death came as his family prepared to celebrate his grandmother's 70th birthday Sunday, said his sister, Cherelle Jordan, at their home in Amityville. She said the family still planned to get together.

"She wants to be as strong as possible," Cherelle Jordan said of her grandmother, Nadine Jordan.

She described her brother as big and intimidating, but also as a good uncle who built a rocking horse as a Christmas gift for her daughter, 3.

"It only happens to people like Christian," she said.

Neighbors of the East Poplar Street home described hearing music, loud noises and people running early Sunday.

"I heard a bang," neighbor Ainsley Andrade, 24, said. "I thought it was fireworks. I heard people yelling."

"I didn't want to look out the window," he said. "Bullets can go any direction."

Police ask anyone with information to contact the Suffolk homicide squad at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-220-TIPS.

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