GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan – A 62-year-old man was fatally shot Monday evening in a possible drug deal gone wrong, police said.
Johnathan Berlin was shot once in the torso just before 5 p.m. in his home on Bedford Street near Christopher Street, an NYPD spokesperson said. Police initially described the incident as a possible home invasion, but they later described it as a possible drug deal. Drug paraphernalia was found inside the apartment including reefer and scales, according to police sources.
Longtime residents of this trendy neighborhood were surprised to hear of drug activity so close to home.
“ I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 30 years and, for a while, when Washington Square was closed to traffic, the drugs moved to Sheridan Square and then Grove Street,” Gary Spino, an area resident, said. “But then neighborhood patrols started, so it is surprising that it is existing on some level."
Police described the shooter as a man in his 30s. He was last seen wearing a grey sweatshirt. The apparent gunman ran west on Christopher Street carrying a large, plastic garbage bag. No arrests have been made.
Submit tips to police by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), visiting http://www.nypdcrimestoppers.com, or texting 274637 (CRIMES) then entering TIP577. Spanish-speaking callers are asked to dial 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).