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Man Shot and Killed Outside Prospect Heights Barbershop

By  Chelsia Rose Marcius Andrea Swalec and Tom Liddy | May 1, 2012 10:41pm | Updated on May 2, 2012 3:39pm

A man was shot on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights May 1, 2012.
A man was shot on Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights May 1, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

PROSPECT HEIGHTS — A man known to neighbors as a nice kid was gunned down on the block where he grew up, outside of a barber shop he frequented on Washington Avenue Tuesday night, authorities and friends said.

John Edgar Brea, 36, of Pine Street in East New York, was found shot in the head and torso at 763 Washington Ave., near St. John's Place, about 9:51 p.m., the NYPD said.

He was taken to Methodist Hospital and pronounced dead, police said.

The Washington Avenue address is home to the barbershop Louis & Shorty’s. Leogene Remogene, nicknamed, "Shorty," was at the shop on the night of the shooting.

"I turned my back and heard, 'Pow, pow,'" he said. "And that was it."

Remogene said he was trimming hair when he heard the gun shots and bolted to the back of the barber shop. He returned to his customer, who sat in the seat closest to the front window, only to realize it was Brea who had been gunned down. 

A 31-year-old Prospect Heights resident said he heard three gunshots as he was walking home from nearby Prospect Park at the time.

"It sounded like loud fireworks," said the man, who declined to provide his name. "I ducked behind a pole and then I saw a guy lying in front of the barbershop." 

There have been no arrests and an investigation is ongoing, police said. It was not immediately clear what sparked the gunfire.

Brea visited the barbershop daily, its other owner said.

"His father died a couple of years ago," said Louis Cirius, 65, who added that Brea often sat on a bench inside the shop and made small talk with customers. "Since then, he comes to the barbershop every day and sits right there."

Neighbors walked in and out of Louis and Shorty's throughout Wednesday morning, consoling one another and asking Remogene how he was holding up.

One friend, Jeff Matthews Jr., 69, said he lived in the same building as Brea, the complex across from the barbershop, and knew Brea his whole life.

"He was like one of my own," said Matthews, who now lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

"He was a very nice person if you knew him," Matthews added. "But if you didn't, he could get testy at times. The young ones, his friends, I hope they don't take no reaction. That's all I can hope for."