Bronx smoke shop employee charged with fatal stabbing homeless man in dispute outside store


An employee of a smoke shop in Bronx stabbed to death a homeless man who had a violent argument with the store manager outside the store, police said.

Kenneth Fair, 59, was unconscious with a stab wound to his neck when officers found him Saturday afternoon at Magic 7 Smoke Shop on W. Fordham Road near Sedgewick Ave. found in University Heights.

The feud started when Fair complained that while the store manager was carrying boxes into the store, he deliberately bumped him, police said.

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The dispute turned physical and Fair took a swing at the manager, police said.

The scuffle came to a halt when a store employee came after Fair, clutched him in a stranglehold and stabbed him in the neck, police said.

Fair was rushed by medics to Jacobi Medical Center, where he died Saturday afternoon.

Smoke shop worker Vernon Gowdy, 54, who lives around the corner from the shop, was arrested at the scene and charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal weapons possession, police said. The store manager was not charged, police said.

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