Two men were killed on Thursday in what the New York City Police Department described as a murder-suicide in the lobby of a Queens hotel.
The shooting occurred Thursday afternoon at the Hilton Garden Inn near the Kennedy International Airport. Police said the two men, Brian Weiss, 31, of Davie, Fla., and Gary Zalevsky, 47, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., were sitting in a private room of the lobby at lunchtime with four other men, reported the Associated Press.
Police are unsure what triggered the confrontation, but an argument broke out between the group of men. Authorities have suggested that the two could have been arguing about an Internet company they had stake in, reported the New York Post.
Zalvensky pulled a weapon and shot Weiss in the head, killing him. As blood poured from Weiss's lifeless body, Zalvensky stepped back and proceeded to shoot himself, ending his own life.
Authorities detained the other four men after they attempted to flee the scene. They believe Zalvensky and Weiss knew each other prior to the incident. Both individuals were pronounced dead at the scene.
The unidentified men asked for lawyers and are not cooperating with police.
Witnesses said that the six men were speaking a foreign language - it may have been Russian,'' reported the New York Post.
The Queens District Attorney, Richard Brown, rushed to the scene. When asked if the shooting could be related to Russian organized crime, he refused to answer.
However, he did confirm the sequence of events.
One of [them] stood up and fired a weapon at another individual, and then turned the weapon on himself . . . There are men who are in custody, he said.
Weiss was the CEO of FWM Laboratories, a Florida based food supplement company. In 2009, the company was sued in Manhattan federal court after falsely implying Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz had endorsed their products, reported the Post. Hours after the shooting, guests and workers at the Hilton Inn were still shaken by the event.
It's such a shock, said Gary Bates-Brown, 48, a hotel steward, reported the New York Times. That's really crazy.
Earl Bolton, 50, said he spent time near the location of the shooting earlier in the da.
It seemed quiet, he said.
One employee, who asked the New York Post to withhold his name, said he heard several shots during the chaos.
I heard eight or nine shots,'' said the man.I froze up. Never heard anything like that before. I saw four men outside being put down on the ground by some policemen.
There were two dead guys slumped over in chairs. I can't believe this happened where I work.
A group of men walked into a meeting room in an area just beside the lobby.