A late-night home invasion turned deadly Wednesday when two burglars pushed their way into a Medford home, killed a Coram man and sent a resident of the house to a hospital with a gunshot wound to the face, Suffolk County police said.
A manhunt is currently underway for the two suspects who fled the scene after the fatal shooting, police said.
Sixth Precinct officers were the first to respond to the Gray Avenue home after a 911 caller reported two men entering the house around 10:45 p.m., police said.
The burglary escalated from the moment the two suspects entered the house, according to the police department’s chief homicide detective.
“One of the residents answers a knock at the door, when he opens the door two males pushed their way into the house,” Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick told the Press, referring to 28-year-old Jermel Bonaparte, who immediately became involved in a physical struggle with one of the burglars.
Shots were fired during the exchange and Bonaparte was hit in the jaw, Fitzpatrick said. Moments later, more gunshots rang out, striking and killing 25-year-old Coram resident Jeremy Phillips, who was found dead when police arrived on the scene.
Bonaparte was transported to a local hospital but his injuries are considered non-life-threatening, according to police.
Six people were in the house at the time of the incident, Ftizpatrick said.
Fitzpatrick said investigators are still trying to establish a motive for the crime. It’s unclear if both suspects were armed. He did not say how many shots were fired.
Meanwhile, friends of Phillips have flooded social media sites to express condolences to his family and friends.
One Facebook user lamented how they had just seen Phillips the day before he was fatally wounded, adding, “I can’t stop thinking about” the crime.
“My heart and sincere prayers go out to the family of young Jeremy Phillips, I pray for the speedy recovery of Jermel Bonaparte,” said a Twitter user.
Detectives ask anyone with information about the deadly home invasion to contact the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.