NEW YORK -- On a quiet, tree-lined street in Queens, within a half-mile of the blue-collar setting for the "All in the Family" television series and some of the most violent sections of Brooklyn, a 33-year-old Baltimore man was shot to death yesterday as he slept with a companion in a parked car, police said.
Rickey George was shot with a revolver at least four times by a young man after the young man and another man offered to sell them drugs, police said.
Mr. George was robbed of between $30 and $40, and Inell Bonette, 37, whom the police report did not name but described as Mr. George's companion, was robbed of $155 and jewelry and left unharmed. No weapon was recovered.
Witnesses told police that after the shooting, two men ran from the couple's car down Summerfield
Street, a short thoroughfare in a declining neighborhood.
Mr. George was conscious when an ambulance arrived, within minutes of the 1:25 a.m. shooting, but he was dead upon arrival at a nearby hospital at 1:45 a.m.
Ms. Bonette, who declined to speak with reporters, spent yesterday at two precincts scanning mug shots. Police said they have no suspects but are following several leads.
The investigation is focusing on unresolved questions, including the time Mr. George and Ms. Bonette arrived in New York and why they were in the neighborhood.
Police pieced together this account of the crime:
The couple apparently drove from Maryland late Wednesday. Ms. Bonette told police she intended to pay a surprise visit to a friend of a friend in a nearby Queens neighborhood, and Mr. George planned to return to Maryland after dropping her off.
They stopped outside of the Bohio Restaurant, a casual diner on the corner of Summerfield Street and the busier Cypress Avenue in the Ridgewood section of Queens, a neighborhood that police said rarely attracts outsiders. Ms. Bonette told police she had been to the restaurant four or five times before but did not enter this time because the restaurant appeared too crowded and she felt underdressed. Instead, she remained in the car, a rented 1990 Sunbird. Ms. Bonette told police that Mr. Georgemade a telephone call that she thought was to the woman she planned to visit. But the woman, interviewed by police yesterday, said she had not talked to Mr. George.
Mr. George and Ms. Bonette then drove around the corner from the restaurant to Summerfield Street and fell asleep, she told police. Police said they are investigating when the couple arrived in the area, when the telephone call was made and how long the pair was on Summerfield Street.
Ms. Bonette told police they were awakened by the two men in their 20s who offered to sell them drugs, which the couple rejected. The men then robbed Ms. Bonette and shot Mr. George as he reached for money beside his seat, she said. A local resident who heard the shots called an ambulance.
Mr. George had been staying with Ms. Bonette at her parents' home in the 3000 block of Mondawmin Avenue in Northwest Baltimore. They had lived there since Ms. Bonette's home in Randallstown was damaged by fire sometime last year.
Ms. Bonette's mother, Sadie Nance, said the couple was home when she went to bed about 10 p.m. Wednesday and was gone when she got up yesterday morning.
"I didn't even know that they were going up there. They must have left sometime last night," she said. "When I got up this morning, she wasn't here."
According to police records, Mr. George was arrested in Baltimore in November 1989 for possession of marijuana and a handgun violation. On April 10, he was scheduled to appear in District Court for a parole violation that involved possession of drugs and a handgun and malicious destruction, court records showed. He did not appear for the hearing, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
Mr. George is the second Marylander to be killed in New York this summer. On July 4, Rhona Lantin, 26, of Silver Spring, was DTC shot fatally when caught in the cross-fire between gang members in Chinatown.