Arrest in Flatbush home-invasion murder – Brooklyn Paper

Arrest in Flatbush home-invasion murder

Crossing the tape: A forensic investigator in protective gear checks out the house on Rugby Road where cops say a man was killed with one gunshot to the head on Wednesday morning.
Photo by Paul Martinka

Police arrested a suspect in the Oct. 15 murder of a senior in Flatbush during a botched home invasion, but two more remain at large, according to police.

Officers cuffed the 20-year-old East New York man on Oct. 18 and are charging him with murder, burglary, attempted robbery and gun possession, cops said.

The terror began shortly before 10:47 am, when cops responding to a 911 call found Leonard Phillips, 69, on the third floor of his Rugby Road home with a gunshot to the head, the NYPD said. Phillips was taken out of the house alive, but by the time responders rushed him to Kings County Hospital Center nearly three miles away, he had succumbed to his wound, according to a police report.

The violent ordeal started when three men strong-armed their way into the house steps from the busy Cortelyou Road shopping strip, between Cortelyou and Dorchester roads, and tied up an elderly female relative of Phillips’s inside, cops said. Phillips stumbled on the scene and tried to help the woman, but one of the fiends opened fire, shooting him once, officers stated.

A police spokesman said the home invasion had the look of an attempted robbery, but an officer at the scene said cops are investigating whether the three gunmen were targeting specific residents of the home.

Neighbors were shocked by the murder, and described Phillips as an upstanding member of the community.

Members of the Phillips family have owned the home since 1978, property records show.

— with Arthur De Gaeta

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhuro‌witz@‌cnglo‌cal.com or by calling (718) 260–4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
This way, ma’am: Officers lift crime scene tape to allow a Rugby Road neighbor to pass the site of the gruesome crime.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

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