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Crew member shot dead on Law & Order set: no arrests

Johnny Pizarro Law and order crew member shot dead on set along Greenpoint, Brooklyn street as he sat in car waiting for production to begin. No arrests.

Not a fake crime scene …

In a scene that could have came been scripted from the crime show, a crew member working for ‘Law & Order: Organized Crime’ was fatally shot at the TV show’s Brooklyn set early Tuesday, authorities said.

Johnny Pizarro, a 31-year-old married Queens father of three, had just started his shift and was sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle that was saving a parking space in Greenpoint around 5:15 a.m. when another man suddenly opened the driver’s door and shot him dead, officials and friends said. Pizarro was shot multiple times in the face and neck, according to officials.

The suspect, wearing a black hoodie and black pants, fled the scene. The lone gunman was was said to be 5’4”, and of thin build, abc7 reported. 

Pizarro was taken to Woodhull Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just before 6 a.m., cops said.

Mystery shooting

Filming had been scheduled to start along the picturesque street at 6 a.m.

According to a colleague, Pizarro was saving the spot on North Henry Street near Norman Avenue for the film crews’ trucks to use later, when an unknown man approached the vehicle and shot him multiple times before fleeing.   

‘It was crazy,’ a distraught colleague of Pizarro told the nypost.

‘I didn’t hear an argument or nothing. It was quiet, early morning,’ the colleague said who wished not to be named told the nypost. ‘It was just a pop, and the [gunman] ran up towards Nassau [Avenue]. I only heard one bang, but I don’t know how many shots.’

Adding, ‘I don’t even know who would do this or why.’

Pizarro, a Queens local had always wanted to work in TV and was much loved and adored according to the friend. 

Local resident Janus Czuj, 60, told the tabloid that he thought the shooting was for the cameras. Except it wasn’t. It was the real thing. 

Johnny Pizarro Law and order crew member shot dead Brooklyn set
Johnny Pizarro Queens man, Law and order crew member shot dead Greenpoint, Brooklyn set.

Parking dispute and grievances amongst locals? 

‘This morning I woke up and saw the police officers,’ Czuj told the nypost. ‘I thought it was a fake crime scene.

“I didn’t think it was a real tragedy. … I tried to walk dogs here and saw the tape and thought, ‘Oh, it’s a movie.’ But this was a real shooting.’

Cops had yet to say why Pizarro had been shot dead, while maintaining that they were not ruling out anything — including whether the shooting may have stemmed from a parking dispute the nytimes reported. 

Of note, the shooting comes amid increased grievance amongst locals who are tired of movie sets continually inhabiting the area.

Read a flier taped to a street pole: ‘Stop Film Shoots Around McGolrick Park’ along with urging residents to complain to their local lawmakers about ‘how the filming of our neighborhood is displacing your family.’ 

‘The area around McGolrick Park has had a WEEKLY film shoot for MONTHS taking away DOZENS of blocks for PARKING and displacing THOUSANDS of Greenpoint residents while over 600 parking spots were recently REMOVED underneath the BQE for the construction of a bike lane that no one uses,’ the posting continued. 

Who would’ve wanted him dead? 

The block is a popular set for shooting the show on account of its proximity to production studios. 

Productions typically post notices on light poles advising residents about when they must move their cars and when filming will begin. Workers affiliated with a production, like  Pizarro, will then sit out all night to ensure that the streets are clear and stay that way.

Local, Joe Pedicino, 65, said CBS TV’s “Blue Bloods” and “FBI” have also been filmed on the street in the past six months. 

‘We’re getting killed with film shoots,’ Pedicino told the nypost.

‘Some of the neighbors were really pissed off there’s not enough parking. [The film crews] take up so much space, and they don’t even use it all.’ 

‘This is one of the better streets in Greenpoint,’ Pedicino continued, saying he heard three shots ring out around the time of the shooting. ‘Executions don’t happen here. It’s a quiet block.’

Local resident, Gabrielle Van den Berg, who also heard three gunshots, told the nypost, ‘There’s a lot of drug addicts in this street’ and wondered whether that situation could have somehow been involved.

Following the shooting, the suspect, wearing a black hoodie and black pants, fled the scene. The lone gunman was was said to be 5’4”, and of thin build, abc7 reported. 

Cops said Pizarro had an arrest record but had been out of trouble since around 2015. 

His prior busts included domestic violence and marijuana busts, with the cases sealed, police sources told the nypost. The man had previously arrested for DWI in the 75th Precinct, which includes the borough’s East New York and Cypress Hills neighborhoods, sources said. 

It wasn’t believed Pizarro may have had a beef with someone who may have sought retribution.

Tuesday’s filming was to be for the popular series’ third season, which features stars including Chris Meloni and Ainsley Seiger.

The fatal shooting was the first homicide in the 94th Precinct for the year. It was the precinct’s third shooting to date in 2022. Both statistics match last year’s. 

Pizarro leaves behind a wife, two daughters and a son.