A 62-year-old florist in Middle Village, Queens, was fatally wounded during a robbery yesterday, but the two gunmen were chased down and captured by off-duty police officers, the police said. The victim was shot twice in front of St. John’s Flower Shop at 66-52 80th Street about 5 P.M. and died later at Jamaica Hospital. Sgt. John McCluskey, a police spokesman, said Mr. DeSantis and his wife had just left their shop with the day’s receipts when they were approached by two men who demanded the money. Following a struggle and the shooting, the gunmen fled in a car.
Two officers who were driving by in their own cars heard the commotion and stopped. After discovering that there had been a robbery, they chased the suspects, whose car crashed about four blocks away at 77th Place and Juniper Valley Road. The officers continued their chase on foot, capturing them two blocks later.
The captors didn’t know each other, Sergeant McCluskey said. The officers are Diane Fatigati, 30, a housing police officer with two years experience, assigned to Brooklyn, and Officer Gary Mayo, 38, an eight-year veteran assigned to the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst.
Sergeant McCluskey identified the suspects as Anthony Stater, 21, of 3226 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, and Edwin Caicedo, 22, of 3207 Fulton Street, Brooklyn.