Retired Cop Charged With Attempted Murder in Shooting of Brooklyn Landlord

A retired police officer was arraigned Tuesday on a charge of attempted murder in the shooting of his neighbor at their Brooklyn apartment building.

Gene Barrett is accused of shooting his neighbor, 45-year-old Joe Stepinski, once in the head outside their three-family home on Greenpoint Avenue Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors say Barrett then took Stepinski's cellphone and went into Stepinski's apartment as police responded. When officers arrived, Barrett allegedly pointed his gun at one officer, leading to a standoff. 

Dozens of police cars swarmed the Greenpoint neighborhood as police responded, including at least one armored vehicle, Chopper 4 over the scene showed. 

Barrett had two guns, which he was legally permitted to carry, prosecutors said. 

Stepinski remains on life support at Bellevue Hospital. 

Barrett, 51, retired from the NYPD in 2002 after nine years on the force, according to his defense attorney. He was injured on the job and retired on disability. 

Barrett's brother declined to comment to News 4 as he left court. The suspect was remanded to jail and is next scheduled to appear in court March 10. 

A motive is still not clear in the shooting, but Luis Andino, a friend of Barrett, told News 4 Monday that the victim would "stalk him, spy on him, walk into his apartment. These are things he'd complain about."

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