For Ismelda Rosario, the thought that the person who shot and killed her father in November has not been caught, and is potentially kicking back and watching television coverage about the crime that snuffed out the life of a man who bent over backwards for family and friends, is almost too much to bear.
“To lose the closest person to me is, there’s no other word for it, overwhelming,” Rosario, 24, of Woodhaven said of her father, Carlos Rosario, 58, who was murdered on the morning of Nov. 20 at the tire shop he owned in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Since her father was killed, Rosario, who works part-time and is going to school to get her master’s degree in public administration, has spent all her free time trying to find the murderer. She and friends have been distributing and hanging up flyers from the NYPD about the crime around the Bushwick Tire Shop at 1370 Bushwick Ave.
“I don’t want this to become a cold case,” Rosario said. “If anybody knows anything, please, please speak up. You can be anonymous, and there’s a reward.”
The NYPD has offered to pay a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for the murder, and Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2,000.
According to Rosario, a man came into her father’s shop around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20, and allegedly asked for new hubcaps. When her father asked him to bring his car into the shop’s lot, he discovered the man had no vehicle.
“It seems like he went there to rob him,” Rosario said. “It happened really fast. There was one gunshot.”
Carlos Rosario’s death has devastated his family, including his wife of 33 years, Oneida Diaz, and, along with Ismelda, his children Jose Ramon and Deanilsa Rosario, both of whom are in their 30s.
Carlos Rosario moved from the Dominican Republic to New York “to have a better life,” his daughter said.
“He was a taxi driver for a number of years, and then he got the opportunity to open up the tire shop 13 years ago, which he was so excited about,” Rosario said. “He loved cars so much, and he loved that job. He had a talent for negotiations and was really good at being a salesman.”
The elder Rosario often worked seven days a week to support his family. When he got a break, Rosario said he would bring her on trips to see other family members in Connecticut, Boston and Pennsylvania.
And, of course, he would watch the Yankees.
“He was a big Yankees fan, so of course I am too,” Rosario said. “For Father’s Day last year, I took him to a Yankees game.”
He raised his family in Queens and Brooklyn, and Ismelda Rosario attended PS 60 and St. Thomas the Apostle in Woodhaven.
A doting father and husband, Carlos Rosario also went out of his way to help friends who were struggling financially and would let them sell various items in his shop.
“If there was anything he could do, he’d do it,” Rosario said.
She has also connected with the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association for help.
“I really just can’t imagine what this family’s going through,” Wendell said. “The fact that they reached out to us provided us with a good opportunity to really stand by their side and let them know we do care, that they’re not alone.”
“The only happy ending would be to have their father back, and that’s not going to happen,” Wendell continued. “But to not have justice, that’s got to be very, very hard to live with.”
The office of Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) said it’s also working to help the Rosario family.
“Our office is pretty confident the police are working this case as hard as they can and following up on any leads, and we’ll work with the family with any additional concerns,” spokesman Eric Yun said.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-8477. Callers do not have to give their names.