03/17/2007

Motive sought in N.Y. rampage

Gunman killed officers, bartender
By Samantha Gross and Nahal Toosi
The Associated Press


Shopkeepers, center, on a Bleecker Street sidewalk watch police investigators at the spot, lower left, where a gunman was killed in a shootout with police Thursday, in the Greenwich Village. Authorities were still investigating why David Gavin, 32, went into the pizzeria around 9 p.m. Wednesday, asked for a menu and then shot an employee 15 times in the back before fleeing. Gavin then shot two unarmed volunteer police officers outside the restaurant before being killed by uniformed officers a block or more away. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

NEW YORK -- A gunman who killed two unarmed volunteer police officers and a bartender had been repeatedly kicked out of the pizzeria where the shootings began and may have been angry that a friend who worked there was fired, police said yesterday.

Wearing a fake beard, David Garvin gunned down the restaurant worker before leading police on a running gun battle through the crowded streets of Greenwich Village. He was shot dead by full-time police officers.

After the shooting stopped, Garvin's body lay bloodied and askew outside a shop on Bleecker Street, near New York University and close to several famous bars and restaurants.

Garvin, 32, had been carrying two semiautomatic firearms and a bag with a fake beard and 100 rounds of ammunition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Garvin had no psychiatric history, but a family member indicated he exhibited increasing paranoia in recent years.

"He was heavily armed and prepared to kill at will," Kelly said.

The commissioner credited the auxiliary officers who were killed, Nicholas Todd Pekearo, 28, and Eugene Marshalik, 19, with helping to prevent more carnage. Auxiliary officers are civilians who conduct patrols wearing uniforms nearly identical to regular police.

The rampage began around 9 p.m. when Garvin went into a pizzeria, asked for a menu, then shot an employee 15 times in the back, Bloomberg said. Police identified the victim as Alfredo Romaro, 35.

Kelly said Garvin was apparently a customer of the pizzeria and had been kicked out several times. He said police also were investigating whether he had been angry over the restaurant's recent firing of a friend.

Garvin fled after the shooting, and police who heard the shots radioed information about the gunman. Pekearo and Marshalik approached the gunman, who fired at them.

The rampage ended when Garvin, who had holed up in a shop, came out firing at police, said Charles Jottras, who watched from his fourth-floor apartment window.

Police officers shot the gunman dead.

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