By Ben Fractenberg and Jennifer Glickel
GRAMERCY — Two men believed to have witnessed two separate murders in Brooklyn last year were shot in the head and killed inside an SUV near Union Square early Monday morning, police said.
Police officers responding to a 911 call about 3:57 a.m. found the victims — identified as Rashawn Washington, 26, and Terrance Serrano, 22, both of Brookyln — inside a silver SUV on 19th Street, between Park Avenue and Broadway, the NYPD said.
The NYPD had been looking for the victims because they wanted to speak to them about two separate murders in 2009 they were believed to have witnessed, a police source said.
Serrano was said to have been at the scene when his 19-year-old brother was shot dead in Coney Island last in July 2009. Washington was believed to have witnessed the accidental shooting of an 87-year-old grandmother, Anna Sermon, who was killed by a stray bullet just one month later, the New York Post reported
Although police were pursuing Serrano and Washington when they were killed, they said neither man had yet cooperated, the New York Daily News reported.
"Both are known gang-bangers who are involved in many things, and their business is likely behind their execution — not the fact that they were potential witnesses in other homicides," an unidentified police source told the News.
Sources told the Post that the shootings may have resulted from an altercation earlier that day.
Video viewed by police shows the two victims leaving nearby Club Roam at 5 E. 19th St. and getting into a silver SUV. Two men in a dark sedan that had pulled up behind them walked up to the car and began shooting, a police source said. The video does not show the shootings. The men then ran back to the car and took off, the source said.Gramercy resident Glenn Steigelman, 61, told DNAinfo he lives a block away from the crime scene and was awoken from sleep by the sound of gunshots Monday morning.
"There were two sets of shots, it was really, really loud," he said.
Steigelman said it is not unusual to hear people fighting and screaming in the early hours of the morning on weekends when people are leaving the neighborhood clubs.
"The fights usually happen around 3:45 a.m. and people are wildly drunk," Steigelman said.
Serrano seemed to forecast his death before he ever entered the club, the Daily News noted.
"And @ my Funeral it's only one wish: I ask give da haters a chance 2 see me cause it's dey last [chance] - and 1 by 1 turn me over let em kiss my a--," the 22-year-old Tweeted just hours before his death, according to the paper.