Saturday, August 1, 2009

South Bronx man 'with checkered past' dies after getting shot in Melrose ambush

From the Daily News by BY Sarah Armaghan AND Wil Cruz:

A 32-year-old man with a checkered past was shot and killed in front of his South Bronx home early Friday, police and relatives said.

Leon Lodge was ambushed just before 1 a.m. near the Melrose Houses. Cops said he was shot in the head and back.

"He always respected us, his family," said his uncle, Norman Lodge. "Somebody didn't evidently like him."

Police said someone opened fire on Lodge - who has prior convictions for assault and marijuana and weapons possessions - at E. 156th St. in the Melrose section.

"The gunshots woke us up. It sounded like a machine gun going off," said Ernest Purdie, 74, a truck driver who has lived in the housing projects for 37 years. "This is crazy!"

Lodge died at the scene. His bloodied body lay on the street for nine hours before it was removed.

"Why is it taking so long for them to take him away?" asked a cousin who didn't want her name used. "I'm in a state of shock right now."

No one has been arrested.

Lodge's family said Lodge, despite his troubled history, didn't deserve this senseless fate.

"People don't respect other people's lives," said aunt Esther Lodge. "There was no good reason to take his life."

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