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Man Shoots Brother Before Killing Self in Borough Park, Sources Say

By  Mary Johnson and Ben Fractenberg | September 6, 2012 7:24am 

A dispute between two brothers in Borough Park turned deadly on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
A dispute between two brothers in Borough Park turned deadly on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg

BOROUGH PARK — A dispute between two brothers ended in one being shot by the other who then apparently killed himself, police and neighbors said.

Police said they were called to 1449 43rd Street near 14th Avenue just after midnight on Wednesday after a 63-year-old man was shot in the back and struck in the head.

Several hours later, they discovered the body of another man inside that address, the victim of an apparent suicide. Neighbors said the two men were brothers.

Neighbors and news reports identified the dead man as Tom Athanasatos, 74, who had lived in and maintained the building since his mother's death years ago.

His brother, James, works in real estate, according to several people who live on the block. The two were known to have fought over selling the house, which their mother had owned, with neighbors saying Tom was reluctant to do so.

Around 12:30 Wednesday morning, Malky Goldberg, 40, said she heard two people arguing. About an hour later, she came out onto the street and saw a man slumped over on the sidewalk, surrounded by emergency crews.

“He was bent over and bloody,” Goldberg said. “He was pouring blood from his back and his head.”

Police said he was taken to Lutheran Hospital in stable condition.

Several hours later, Tom’s body was discovered inside 1449 43rd Street, the victim of an apparent suicide.

Angel Roldan Jr., 54, who has lived on the block since 1977, called Tom “great, generous, quiet” and said the man diligently maintained his home after his mother died several years ago.

“He left it just the way it was,” Roldan Jr. said. “Where’s he going to go? He’s been living there for 40 years.”