Haredi Man Shot Dead in New York City's Crown Heights

Eyewitness report indicates Efraim 'Friedrich' Klein was caught in rival gang crossfire in Brooklyn.

A ultra-orthodox Jewish man was shot dead in New York City's Crown Heights neighborhood on Tuesday.

Efraim "Friedrich" Klein, 47, was found in his car parked a few blocs away from his house situated in the predominantly Haredi part of the Brooklyn borough neighborhood.

Preliminary inquires indicate that the murder was committed sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning. Examination of his wounds reveal that he was shot in the chest and that he died instantly.

A community leader, Hananyah Sperlin, told Haaretz that the murder's motives are still unknown. Dozens of police officers arrived at the scene to investigate the murder. According to one eye-witness account, Sperlin was caught in a shootout between rival gangs.

The local community announced a ten thousand dollar prize for whomever will pass information that will bring about the identification of those involved.

Sperlin said Klein was a faithful Jew, who always had a smile on his face and was always willing to help those in need. He has two daughters who live in New York and a son who lives in Israel.

Sperlin also said that Klein was planning on flying to Israel for his son's wedding next week.

The Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn where Klein lived is a mixed Jewish-black neighborhood. In 1991, riots broke out in Crown Heights during which a Hassidic man was stabbed. However in recent years the area is said to have been a model of coexistance.

"We are very angry and worried," Sperlin said. "This is a quiet and crime-free area."