MTA employee landlord fatally shoots tenant in apparent self-defense in NYC: sources

MTA employee landlord fatally shoots tenant in apparent self-defense in NYC: sources

A Brooklyn landlord was hit with gun charges Monday in the fatal shooting of his tenant who broke into his apartment armed with a Taser over the weekend, prosecutors and law enforcement sources said.

LaShawn Craig — and MTA employee and military veteran — allegedly opened fire after finding Timothy Jones inside his Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment, wearing a mask and gloves and toting a Taser at around 9:40 p.m. on Friday, according to authorities and the sources.

Craig, a 45-year-old train operator, told Jones to get out of the apartment and then saw him reaching into his pockets, which is when he unloaded a handgun, according to prosecutors.

He called 911 after the shooting and surrendered the illegal gun, a Smith and Wesson 40 caliber pistol, to police, according to sources and the criminal complaint against him.

Sources said Craig and Jones, a 64-year-old career criminal, had been arguing about family photos before the spat took a violent turn. It wasn’t clear whether the two men were related to each other.

“Where’s my photos?” Jones had allegedly yelled from inside the building on Pulaski Street near Malcolm X Boulevard, where he lived with Craig, the sources said.

LaShawn Craig, 45, was hit with weapon possession charges in connection to the shooting, which appeared to be in self-defense, sources said.

Jones was struck in the torso, leaving him mortally wounded. He died at Kings County Hospital Center, cops said.

Craig, who has no prior criminal history, was arrested Sunday and arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court Monday on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon – one a felony and the other a misdemeanor – as well as a criminal possession of a firearm charge, according to the complaint.

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While prosecutors requested $50,000 bail, a judge freed Craig on supervised release, according to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. 

The shooting was being investigated as a “justified homicide” due to self-defense, sources said. 

Craig fired multiple times and struck Jones in the torso, killing him, police said.
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Jones had more than 20 prior arrests, mostly for narcotics and domestic violence, as well as an aggravated unlicensed operator charge, the sources said. 

He was also seriously hurt in a shooting inside his apartment on the second floor of the same building in June 2022.

That incident — which did not involve Craig — resulted in the death of 19-year-old Briana Zaret, who had shown up at the apartment with a male companion looking to buy cocaine, according to the sources.

A fight broke out, during which the man who was with Zaret grabbed a gun and opened fire, killing her and striking Jones in the head, gravely wounding him, according to cops and the sources.

Craig, the landlord of the Pulaski Street building, was granted supervised release during his Monday arraignment.
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Jose Romero, 47, of Queens, was arrested in connection to that shooting and charged with murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said at the time. 

Jones was hospitalized, initially in critical condition, while Zaret was pronounced dead at the scene, cops said.

Outside the Pulaski Street home Monday afternoon blood splatters remained on the steps and the sidewalk, and an MTA jacket could also be seen lying on the porch of the home.

“I was just watching TV and I heard gunshots,” a neighbor, who declined to give his name, said about the shooting three days prior, questioning what would have provoked his usually pleasant neighbor.

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“[Craig] seems like a chill person, so I’m not sure what compelled him to do what he’s accused of. It’s alarming because I was right next to it when it happened,” he said.

Jones had entered Craig’s apartment irate over missing family photos — leading to the deadly shooting, sources said.
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Another man said his girlfriend recalled hearing “a whole clip being emptied – 10 shots, maybe.”

“Before that there was a group of dudes on the porch area, deliberating something,” the local said.

“She went to grab something from the bodega, and when she came back she heard shots,” he said about his girlfriend. “[Craig] is a super nice guy. One time my girlfriend dropped a carton of eggs on the floor and then he ran out and gave her a new carton of eggs. Really nice dude.”

Craig worked as a train operator for the MTA since 2014.
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MTA spokesperson Michael Cortez said Craig — who has worked for the agency since 2014 — “is being withheld from service pending a review of all the facts.”

Craig is also a veteran with multiple deployments, sources said. 

“Mr. Craig is a good man,” family friend Jackie Marshall, 38, told The Post. “I don’t know what was going on with him and his tenant, but he is a good guy. It’s a very sad situation. Mr. Craig is a good guy. He works. He’s in the Army…to even hear about something like this is a terrible thing. It’s a total shock.”

The Legal Aid Society, which is representing Craig in the case, didn’t return a request for comment.

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