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Queens Man Shot in the Head During Brooklyn Cab Robbery

By Jess Wisloski | August 18, 2012 11:33am | Updated on August 20, 2012 11:05am

FLATLANDS — A 23-year-old Queens man was in critical condition after being shot by a teenage gunman during a botched livery cab robbery in Brooklyn over the weekend, police said.

Police arrested Michael Magnan, 19, and charged him with attempted murder, assault, attempted robbery, weapons possession and criminal mischief, according to cops.

The victim, identified in The Post as Forest Hills resident Nikita Grebelskiy, was riding in the vehicle around 2:30 a.m. Saturday when a man attempted to rob the driver at Utica Avenue and Avenue M in Flatlands, police said.

Magnan allegedly approached the cab, where the driver was stopped, and demanded the driver's money.

When the driver wouldn't give up the cash, police said Magnan pulled a gun out and fired off a shot that struck Grebelsky in the head.

The victim was rushed to Kings County Hospital where he was listed in critical condition Sunday, according to the Post.

Witness Dan Cody, 52, said the victim had been riding with a woman.

"They shot the guy in the head," he said. "The girl survived."

The car, which he said belonged to a local car service, was a shambles. "The back window and the back side window were all smashed," he said. "There were just fragments of glass hanging off the frame."

Magnan's family told the Daily News Sunday that the alleged shooter was too drunk to have committed the crime after attending a wedding on Long Island.

“This guy was drunk,” his father, Frantz Magnan, told the News. “How could he do something like that?”

“He’s a beautiful person,” Magnan's aunt Lisa Alexis added, according to the paper. “He’s not a maniac. He’s not a psycho.”

The paper also reported that the shooting was possibly connected to an earlier incident in which four people were shot.

But cops said Mangan, who has eight prior arrests, including bail jumping and possession of stolen property, was not connected to any other incident that night.