NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The death of a man in Kew Gardens Hills, Queens on Saturday may have broken a record-setting 12-day period of no murders in New York City.

Police were called around 8:35 a.m. Saturday to 141-27 77th Ave. in Queens. They found the body of an unidentified 56-year-old man in the basement of the building with head trauma.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. The New York City Medical Examiner’s office will determine the cause of his death.

As 1010 WINS’ Gary Baumgarten reported, the neighborhood has a largely Orthodox Jewish population and thus, there were few vehicles traversing the streets before sundown on Saturday.

The arrival of the police Crime Scene Unit in the neighborhood was so out of place that neighbors came up to question reporters about it – only to hear of the death of the man who lived on the corner.

A man named Robert had been the handyman for the victim. On Saturday evening, Robert was making funeral arrangements.

“I’m here with the rabbi to try to make sure he gets a decent funeral; a decent burial,” Robert said.

The arrangements were being made because the man lived alone, and had no known relatives and few friends, Baumgarten reported.

The last confirmed homicide in the city happened Sunday, Feb. 1, when Shadale Graham, 28, was shot and killed at 136th Street in Broadway in Hamilton Heights, 1010 WINS reported. A 24-year-old man was also shot in the right arm and ankle in that incident, and a 22-year-old man was shot in the torso and leg, police said.

The number of days with no homicides afterward has set a record.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the streak a testament to the hard work of the NYPD, adding that it is “further evidence that New York is the safest big city in America,” 1010 WINS reported.


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