NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Bunting is up at Engine 245 in Coney Island in memory of a firefighter killed in a suspected road rage incident in Brooklyn on Sunday morning.
Investigators said 33-year-old Faizal Coto was found lying next to his damaged car on the Belt Parkway.
The city’s medical examiner’s office says Coto was killed by blunt force trauma to the head, and ruled the death a homicide.
Investigators said Coto was found on the ground with head injuries next to his 2008 Ford Mustang. The 911 caller said there was a crash, but when police got to the scene the other driver was already gone.
Investigators were seen swarming the eastbound side of the Belt Parkway in Bath Beach near Exit 4 just before 5 a.m.
Police are searching for the person who was behind the wheel of a 2006 gray or silver Infinity G35. It has damage on its driver’s side and New York plate JEA 2402. That person has been labeled a suspect in the death Coto’s death.
The NYPD said the two cars collided while merging onto the highway. Coto and the suspect pulled over to the shoulder. Investigators said that’s when Coto was hit in the head with some kind of object and ended up unconscious and unresponsive.
Coto was taken to Coney Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Coto was a firefighter for the past three years at Engine 245.
Witnesses said detectives were scouring the scene for evidence for hours on Sunday.
“I saw it. It looked like a lot of police here. It looked like they were collecting evidence,” Bath Beach resident Steven Alengakis said, adding, “I’m really disappointed to hear that something like this happened.”
Coto was also an aspiring rapper and hip hop artist performing under the name FAIYA.
Anyone with any information is asked to call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or 1-888-57-PISTA (74782) for Spanish. You can also submit a tip via the Crime Stoppers website, by Tweeting @NYPDTips or by texting a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577.