Kajawn Howard fatally shot outside his 29th birthday party on Rockaway Blvd

29th birthday celebration, Queens father was fatally shot.

A Queens father was fatally shot outside his 29th birthday party, police said Monday. A hail of bullets also injured a second man.

Kajawn Howard, 29, was rushed to Jamaica Hospital after being shot in the stomach outside a party hall on Rockaway Blvd. near 134th St. in South Ozone Park around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, cops said. He died the next day in the hospital.

Cops arrived on the scene and discovered a second man, 26, who had been shot in the back. He was transported to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition by medics.

No arrests have been made.

Howard was just a few blocks away from the party hall where he was celebrating his 29th birthday. According to relatives, he was the father of a one-year-old boy and worked in construction.

According to a nearby restaurant owner, the party hall has been largely vacant after an eight-month-old vacate notice was slapped on the door.

On Monday, a memorial with flickering candles, empty liquor bottles, and pictures of Howard was set up across the street from the site.

“He's a nice guy,” the friend, who requested anonymity, said. “He was the kind of guy you would not expect anything like this to happen to.”

Police on the scene on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens on Thursday morning
Police on the scene on Rockaway Boulevard in Queens on Thursday morning

“He was fond of music. He enjoyed eating,” he continued. “He was amusing; he was a character.”

Although the motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, cops said that a dispute preceded it.

There were 11 homicides across the city last week, up from three the previous year, according to NYPD reports. There have been 132 slayings this year through Sunday, compared to 113 in 2020, a 17% increase.

There have been 469 shootings in the city this year through Sunday, up from 259 in the same timeframe last year, a 1 79% increase.

The spike in murders and shootings is accompanied by an increase in gun convictions over the previous year.

So far this year, cops in the New York City Police Department have made 1,619 weapons arrests, compared to 1,092 at this time last year.