MINEOLA, Long Island (PIX11) -- The search is on for a killer who struck in a neighborhood rarely hit by serious crime. Still, the murder of Oscar Granados has detectives warning people to take extra precaution, even though this appears to be a targeted attack.
It happened in front of the 43-year-old's home on Roslyn Road in Mineola Sunday night following a dispute he had with a mystery man or, possibly, more than one man.
Bouquets of flowers sat on the porch of the two story home on Monday as relatives of Granados came and went. One family member buried her head in her hands on learning what had happened to the man who was described as a hard-working father.
Meanwhile, "We have a killer on the loose," said Capt. John Azzata, the chief of Nassau County Police detectives. "Right now," Azzata said in an interview with PIX11 News, "we're out there ... tracking his last steps up until the time he returned home." That was at 9:36 P.M. Sunday, according to investigators.
They said Granados got out of the cab, the cab drove away, and before he was able to get from the curb to his front door, he was in a struggle with a man who remains unidentified.
Police hope that the last person to have contact with Granados before his killing will be able to provide helpful information. "We are tracking down that taxi and taxi cab driver," Capt. Azzata said.
The detective chief also told PIX11 News that while there is no official motive for the killing, one clue may have come from words exchanged during the victim's last minutes of life. Granados's brother had watched him from an upstairs window as Granados tried to tried to fight off his attacker.
"The individual struggling with his brother said, 'Give me the money,'" Azzata said. The victim's family has said that Granados was known to gamble frequently. On Sunday night, however, nothing was taken from him.
His neighbors, including a neighbor two doors away, said that the whole situation has left them in shock. "Nobody expected anything like that to happen in this neighborhood."
Detectives confirm that the neighborhood in Mineola rarely sees serious crime, but they add a word of caution. "It's unusual for that area," said Capt. Azzata, but "crime can happen anywhere. If someone targets you as a victim, it can happen anywhere."
Detectives are advising Mineola residents to be aware of their surroundings at all times, but especially now, while a killer is on the loose. This is the first homicide of the year in Nassau County.