A Law & Order: Organized Crime crew member was fatally shot on Tuesday (19 July) on location for the show’s third season in New York.
The victim has been identified as 31-year-old Johnny Pizarro from Queens. Police said he was contracted to enforce parking restrictions for the production company.
As per a New York Police Department (NYPD) release, Pizarro was sitting in a vehicle parked on North Henry Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn when an unknown assailant allegedly opened the car door and fired a weapon, striking Pizarro’s head and neck.
The attack reportedly occurred at 5.15am local time. Pizarro was rushed to the nearby Woodhull Hospital, where he was pronounced dead 45 minutes later.
Police are still searching for the assailant described as wearing “black pants and a black hoodie”, according to multiple news reports.
A crew member on the NBC show told Deadline that he saw a “man with something under his shirt” running away from the crime scene.
One of Pizarro’s colleagues who was enforcing parking restrictions closeby near Norman Avenue told the New York Post that he “didn’t hear any argument or nothing” and that everything was “quiet”.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, he added: “It was just a pop, and the [gunman] ran up towards Nassau [Avenue]. I only heard one bang, but I don’t know how many shots.
“I don’t even know who would do this or why.”
The victim’s father, who lives in Puerto Rico and shared the name Johnny with his late son, said he was “shocked very hard” to learn Pizarro had been killed.
Speaking to the New York Post, he said: “We weren’t close, but he’s my son no matter what. Now he’s gone for good, forever.
“I feel lost. To me, he was a good boy. He took care of his children. He was always nice to me.”
Pizarro is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.
While the motive of the killing is currenly unclear, local residents said it is unlikely Pizarro’s murder was connected to a parking dispute.
“I can’t imagine it was related to parking,” Ian Oberholtzer told the New York Post, adding, “There’s plenty of parking spots at 5am.”
Others testified to there rarely being any trouble in the neighbourhood, speaking to news outlets in the wake of the tragedy.
NBC and Universal Television (the studio which produces the show) said they were “terribly saddened and shocked” over the crime, issuing a joint statement after news of Pizarro’s murder broke.
“We are working with local law enforcement as they continue to investigate. Our hearts go out to his family and friends and we ask that you respect their privacy during this time,” the statement read.