Relatives of three young people lost to car accidents and a brazen shooting over the weekend — a promising model, an aspiring attorney and a rapper hoping for a big break — struggled Monday to make sense of their tragedies.
Gunshots fired at Lord Carter killed the 21-year-old Westbury man whose grandfather said Monday that his grandson may have sensed he would be targeted before a gunman trained a pistol on him.
“Maybe he felt something was going to happen,” said Henry Brim, 62, of Roosevelt, who raised Carter from the time he was about 8 years old.
Brim said Carter sat in Brim’s Roosevelt kitchen Saturday and told him that he appreciated how Brim, an old-fashioned disciplinarian, had raised Carter and his brothers, Carter saying his grandfather was the “greatest man he ever knew.
“He may have figured if he didn’t tell me now, he might not get a chance to tell me,” Brim said, adding that he found puzzling Carter’s resolve in giving thanks at that moment only to die on a Roosevelt street later that day. “It just lifted me up. I ain’t never going to forget that until the day I die.”
Hours after that conversation, someone shot Carter at least twice outside a house party on East Fulton Avenue.
For Dawn Leslie’s loved ones, Wednesday will be a day to mourn rather than celebrate.
Leslie, 18, recognized as the student of the month for June at Syosset High School, was killed late Saturday when she was hit by a car while crossing a street in Oyster Bay Cove on her way to a graduation party.
The accident happened four days before she was to graduate from Syosset with a Regents diploma. Leslie had planned to attend Tiffin University in Ohio to pursue a degree in criminal law.
She had aspired to work as a police officer, Syosset High School Principal Jorge Schneider said Monday.
“She was a very likable young lady,” Schneider said. “Everybody is devastated.”
At about 11:10 p.m. Saturday, a 2003 Toyota Avalon traveling east along Route 25A hit Leslie as she walked across the roadway, police said. No charges have been filed against the driver who hit her, police said.
Leslie’s teachers recognized her this month as a student of the month, exhibiting positive character traits in addition to academic rigor, Schneider said.
Jenna Levere said she had planned to sit next to Leslie at their graduation.
“Any person that got to knew her loved her,” Levere said. “She had a smile that would make anyone smile, and the most contagious laugh. I just planned on being her friend forever.”
A funeral will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at Wagner Funeral Home at 125 W. Old Country Rd. in Hicksville.
In another crash, Desiree Mesolella, 19, of Lincoln, R.I., was killed in an alleged drunken driving accident Sunday morning in Port Washington.
The Adelphi University student and model was the daughter of a former Rhode Island politician.
Mesolella was the passenger in a 2007 Honda Civic whose driver crossed over into oncoming traffic and struck a car, Nassau police said. The driver, Ansaf G. Ibrahim, 21, of Port Washington, was charged with manslaughter and driving while intoxicated, among other charges, police said.
Mesolella, a sophomore at Adelphi, majored in art, said university officials. She is the daughter of former Rhode Island state Rep. Vincent Mesolella, a real estate developer, said a spokeswoman for the Narragansett Bay Commission, which Vincent Mesolella chairs.
In 2005, Mesolella competed in the Miss Rhode Island Teen USA pageant.
* BY ZACHARY R. DOWDY AND JOSEPH MALLIA (Newsday,June 24, 2008)