A family is mourning after a Sunset Park resident died after being shot in the head, allegedly by his neighbor and friend, during the city’s first blizzard of the year.
The deadly shooting took place at the apartment of the alleged shooter, 32-year-old Maciej Gorecki, at Seventh Avenue and 45th Street on Saturday, January 22, according to police.
Cops say when they arrived at Gorecki’s apartment, at approximately 7:54 p.m., they found 37-year old Zdzislaw Golabek, who had sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Golabek was pronounced dead at the scene by EMS workers.
After a day of speculation that the victim had died during a game of Russian Roulette, police have ruled the incident a homicide. According to Captain Tommy Ng of the 72nd Precinct, Gorecki has been charged with manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon.
The Golabek family is devastated by the death and also upset about initial reports that the death was due to a deadly game.
“We are very much in shock,” Katarzyna Golabek, the victim’s sister-in-law, told this paper. “So many newspapers wrote a lot of false things and we want to have everything clear. In the beginning, they were saying that it was Russian Roulette. They had wrong information. They mixed everything and the whole family was upset.”
According to Katarzyna, Gorecki claimed early on the victim died as a result of the game. “Later,” she said, “he changed his story and said that there was no game. The detective told me this after he spoke to him and told him there was no Russian Roulette played. A detective said my brother-in-law was killed by his friend by accident.”
While reeling from the loss of a beloved family member, Katarzyna said she believes the shooting wasn’t intentional and feels bad for both families involved.
“We know it was an accident. He didn’t mean to kill him but he did and he’s still gone,” she said. “It’s still important to make clear there was no game and it was by mistake, but still his friend killed him.”
Kararzyna told this paper that police had told the family that the weapon in question had been illegally obtained.
“He didn’t know the gun was loaded,” she said. “That’s what the detective told me. The friend was playing. He took his gun, which was illegal, and pointed it at his head and shot him. He should never have had that gun.”
Katarzyna added that she’s glad that the alleged shooter eventually changed his story.
“The important thing is this guy finally told the truth,” she said. “We feel very sorry for his family because they didn’t know anything about the gun. This is a tragedy of two families. We don’t feel mad for them because it was an accident but it’s still very hard. The family feels devastated.”