A Staten Island man faces a murder charge for fatally shooting his son on New Year’s Eve, police said Saturday.
Joseph Leone, 57, is accused of shooting his 29-year-old son, Joseph Leone Jr., in the chest with a shotgun on Bay St. near Scarboro Ave. in Shore Acres just before 7:25 p.m. Friday, police said.
The owner of a nearby sports nutrition store initially believed the gunfire to be the sound of fireworks ringing in the new year.
“I was doing some maintenance work and we heard some gunshots…at first I thought we heard fireworks,” said Jean Suarez. “But soon I realized it wasn’t. I grabbed my daughter, wife and hid in the bathroom until the cops came and stuff.”
Police found Leone Jr. wounded on the sidewalk outside the home he shared with his father, police said.
“I just can’t believe this happened,” said a woman who lives on the block. “I was on my way home last night, got off the bus and oh my God, I just saw the body just lying over there.”
Leone Jr. was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital, but he could not be saved.
Besides the murder charge, the elder Leone was also accused of assault and criminal possession of a weapon. He was awaiting arraignment Saturday.