QUEENS — An IT worker who was shot to death just steps from his Jamaica home on Tuesday may have been the victim of a botched robbery, police officials said.
Mohamed Hamwi, 48, a computer analyst, was shot several times, including in the chest and the face, at the corner of 173rd Street and 105th Avenue early Tuesday morning, police said. He was about half a block from his home when he was shot, police said.
The victim, who was originally from Syria, but had Canadian citizenship, worked at the Madison Avenue-based financial analytics firm Trepp, relatives said.
Police sources said that Hamwi, who was on his way home from the Jamaica Long Island Rail Road station, was holding his phone in his hand when the shooting occurred.
Inspector Charles McEvoy, commanding officer of the 103rd Precinct, said at a community council meeting Tuesday night that police believe the murder might have been preceded by “some kind of attempted robbery or robbery.”
Hamwi’s cell phone and wallet were not taken. Initially, police believed he may have been carrying work-related equipment that was “unaccounted for” after the shooting, but it later turned out that Hamwi had left the computer equipment at home, McEvoy said.
McEvoy said that images recorded by a surveillance camera installed on a nearby house, suggest that two people were responsible for the shooting. The video was not immediately available.
“This is a real mystery,” he said, adding that Hamwi had no criminal history. "We really don't know what the motive was."
As of Wednesday morning, no one has been arrested, authorities said.
Police said that witnesses heard from four to six shots.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES), then entering TIP577.