Thursday, October 15, 2009

Candlelight Memorial Planned for Murder Victim

By Patricia Adams

The family of a slain Ozone Park man is reaching out for the community’s help in bringing his killer to justice. Gerardo “Jerry” Antoniello was murdered in his parent’s home during an attempted home inva- sion/robbery back on September 9. Now family and friends say they want to do something to avenge this “senseless death.” On Saturday, October 24 they will hold a candlelight memorial on Saturday at Romeo’s Pizzeria located at 134-24 Crossbay Blvd., Ozone Park.

Posters with Jerry’s photo have blanketed the surrounding communities lining store windows throughout Ozone Park and Howard Beach. The poster reads that all are welcome to attend and remember Jerry as a hero that lost his life protecting his parents. It goes on to say that Jerry’s life was taken away tragically and unnecessarily leaving a family with a hole in their hearts. As a strongly-knit community our voices and actions should be heard by all elected officials, so that a crime like this does not become just another statistic.

Jerry’s older brother, Angelo, 35, says that although the NYPD is doing a great job, his brother’s killers are still out there. “We are very thankful and appreciative to everyone who has come to the pizzeria and to the services to pay their respects. The community has been great.” But what Angelo Antoniello says will do the family the most good, is if his brother’s killers are found and brought to justice.

“We are doing the memorial to honor and remember my brother, but we also need the community to get out here with us. We need to know if anyone has information. We need to find who did this.” Antoniello explained to The Forum that his brother Carmine is an 18-year veteran of the NYPD and that officers working with him have been collecting money to establish a reward fund.

“We are not asking anyone for money but we are very thankful to those people who have made donations to the reward fund. But that is not what this is about. This is about justice for my brother’s death. It’s about getting the help of the people to find who did this.” Antoniello then described the experience for his parents, “They can never go home again. They lost their son. They lost their youngest child.” Now Romeo Antoniello and his wife Gaetana have put the family home, where Jerry was killed, up for sale.

The pain and tragedy of the Antoniello family has been felt throughout the community where they live and work. Since the shooting, steady streams of friends, new and old, and customers continue to stop by the pizze- ria and offer comfort. The Forum encourages all of our readers to attend the memorial service next Saturday evening to show support for the family in this most difficult time. If you have any information regarding this crime you are asked to please contact authorities. Anyone who wishes to contribute to the reward fund being created should inquire at the Memorial Service or at Romeo’s Pizzeria.

1 comment:

Jennifer McHugh said...

My thoughts and prayers are with the Antoniello family. I am an old friend who remembers Jerry as a little boy. It is such a sad ending to a short life of 29 years. I pray the Antoniello family can once again find peace -
Jennifer Peck McHugh