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Man Gunned Down in Clinton Hill Diner, Two in NYPD Custody

By  Jess Wisloski and Janet Upadhye | January 6, 2013 10:18am | Updated on January 6, 2013 3:24pm

CLINTON HILL — A 34-year-old man was shot to death inside a Brooklyn eatery after trying to break up a fight between two patrons early Sunday morning, officials said.

The victim, who had not yet been identified, was found by police responding to calls of shots fired inside the Country House Diner at 5:02 a.m. on Fulton Street, near Vanderbilt Avenue, police said.

Councilwoman Letitia James, who was at the diner Sunday to speak wth Clinton Hill residents, said the man had intervened in a fight between a man and woman at the diner.

"He died a hero. He tried to stop a fight in his neighborhood and was shot," she said. The victim was shot in the stomach, and rushed to Brooklyn Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

The nephew of the diner's owner said he knew the victim, who was a regular customer, and that it was a tragic loss.

"He was a really good kid. He ate breakfast there often. He was really well known in the neighborhood," said Sammy Widdy. He said the victim, a neighborhood resident, owned a business operating 20 dollar vans, and was married to a police officer. "He was just trying to defend a woman."

The fight broke out early during breakfast, said Widdy, between a boyfriend and girlfriend. When it grew heated, he said, the victim stepped in. 

A male suspect was taken into custody early Sunday, police said, and expected to be charged with the homicide. Another suspect, a woman, was also in NYPD custody, but police could not say whether or not she faced charges in the killing.