Standing on the stoop in South Ozone Park where his wife, Sandra Bajnath, was gunned down in a hail of bullets early Sunday morning, Anthony Tika looked at a photo positioned behind a sea of flickering candles of a woman flashing a brilliant smile, her arm around some of those she loved most —her husband and one of her young sons.
He studied the photo for a moment as a stream of endless visitors came into and out of the house where he had shared his life with Bajnath, 39, who police say died after being shot in the torso at her home on 135th Street in South Ozone Park after an alleged bar dispute.
“She was amazing,” Tika said of the mother of their two boys. “She was fun-loving and energetic. She was always helpful.”
Bajnath had been on maternity leave from her job as a customer service representative at Verizon when she died, Tika said. Their son T.J. is 6 and a half years old, and their baby, Ravin, is 9 months old.
According to police, she was with her husband and a friend, Sean Seepaul, 26, at the Food Hut Restaurant and Bar on Rockaway Boulevard in South Ozone Park when family members said Bajnath accidentally bumped into a woman early in the morning on Sunday.
Friends said the three left soon thereafter to avoid an argument because the woman, who has not been identified, and a group of men with her, appeared especially angry over the incident.
“It’s like they got so mad over nothing,” said a neighbor who did not want to be named. “They were so mad at her when all she did was accidentally brush into this lady? You take someone’s life over that? What sense does that make?”
After the three left the bar, they made their way back to Bajnath’s house in South Ozone Park, where they were sitting when a group of men approached the front porch and fired numerous shots, police said. Other published reports said the gunmen fired at least 20 times.
Bajnath was shot in the torso, and Seepaul was shot in the stomach, police said. The mother was pronounced dead at the scene, and Seepaul was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in critical condition, according to police.
No arrests have been made.