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Queens Chronicle

Cops look for killer of biker found shot

Branden Santiago found in crosswalk

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Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 10:58 am, Thu May 1, 2014.

The NYPD is investigating the death of a Briarwood man found shot twice in the head on a Richmond Hill street Saturday morning.

Branden Santiago, 20, of 84th Drive was found in the crosswalk at the intersection of 103rd Avenue and 108th Street at around 5 a.m. Police say he had been riding a motorbike and was found just feet from where the bike had stopped.

A truck driver saw Santiago lying at the scene and thought he had been hit by a car. When his helmet was removed, Sanitago was found to have two gunshots to his head. He was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

A resident who lives in an apartment building at the corner said he was awake at the time and thought he had heard the bike, but no gunshots.

“I’ve already spoken to the police about what I heard,” he said. “But I didn’t hear any gunshots.”

An NYPD source said police are investigating the possibility that Santiago had been shot somewhere else and had traveled to the neighborhood on the motorbike with the gunshot wounds seeking help or attempting to make it to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, about a mile away, or home to Briarwood. His helmet may have prevented the wounds from being immediately fatal.

Alva Mohanson, a resident who lives one block from the scene said she was surprised to hear of the incident. Mohanson said the spot is only four blocks from where a cab driver was found shot dead in his car 20 years ago.

“You never hear about shootings here, that was the last one I remember,” she said. “There are fights outside bars on Liberty Avenue, but that’s about it.”

Santiago was found just six blocks away from where another shooting occurred — that of a woman allegedly gunned down by her husband in their home — only a few hours later.

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