Suspect Joseph Kernizan remains at large.
A jilted lover stalked and shot his ex-girlfriend and her new beau, ignoring the woman’s desperate pleas for mercy early Saturday outside a seedy Bronx motel.
Joseph Kernizan, 42, was waiting when the couple emerged from the Holiday Motel around 3:10 a.m., and he blasted more than two dozen bullets at the helpless duo, witnesses and police said.
“Don’t do it! Don’t do it!” wailed Tracy Bennett, 38, before the shooter gunned down the twosome in the parking lot. The slain woman had an order of protection against Kernizan, police sources said.
Bennett and her boyfriend, Wayne Hamilton, 50, were about to leave in her white Toyota Camry when Kernizan sprinted out of the darkness and opened fire, the sources said.
Hamilton hopped from the passenger seat and tried to escape the hail of bullets that cut him down near the motel office, sources and witnesses said. Kernizan then turned his pistol on the weeping Bennett as she stood by her parked sedan, its motor still running, near Room 104. The doomed woman pleaded for her life before he opened fire.
“I looked out my window and saw a lady standing there,” said Ricky Gugliotta, who was staying in a nearby room with some friends celebrating a pal’s birthday. “She was begging him not to shoot her, but then he shot her twice and she went down.”
Both Bennett, of Elmont, L.I., and Hamilton, a Milwaukee reggae musician known as Captain Barkey, died at the scene, police said.
Handout/Joel Cairo for the New York Daily News
Investigators said Kernizan sped away from the scene in a blue Honda sedan and was still at large Saturday.
Bennett’s neighbors said they often heard her and her ex-beau screaming at each other — and cops were regularly called to the tidy two-story home.
“We always heard them fighting,” said Carolina Manzano, 32, who described Bennett, a mother of three, as a sweet woman who was seen leaving her house every morning in nurse scrubs.
But her ex-boyfriend appeared to live a much different lifestyle, staying out all night and often returning with different flashy cars. Kernizan, described as short and heavyset, told neighbors he opened a club in West Hempstead.
Danny Iudici for New York Daily News
The scene where a double shooting took place at the Holiday Motel in the Bronx.
“He was always acting suspicious,” Manzano said, adding that Bennett had a daughter in her late teens and a son and daughter between the ages of 8 and 10.
Hamilton, who grew up on the island of Jamaica, flew into the city Friday night to meet up with his old pals, according to a friend.
Married with kids, Hamilton had known Bennett for 18 months, said pal Natchelous Demus, 37.
Hamilton was seen earlier in the night at Memories Lounge near East Gun Hill Road, with a woman in a black top and tight black pants.
“They were lovers,” Demus said.
“He was a joyful dude. I don’t know why that happened, man. I can’t believe.”
The motel, which sits on a service road of the New England Thruway, has been wrapped in crime scene tape before.
A mother of five children was found dead inside a room at the motel in January 1997. A maid found the body of Rosa Morilla, 39, lying on the floor with multiple stab wounds and her throat slit, reports show.
Her boyfriend, Mohammad Cheema, then 32, confessed to the slay and claimed he killed her because she backed out of a promise to marry him.
Wayne Hamilton (aka Captain Barkey) of Milwaukee was gunned down in a motel parking lot, police said.
Cheema, an illegal immigrant from India, said he wanted to marry her so he could live in the U.S. legally.
A few years later, in October 2003, cops from the Bronx public morals squad raided the Holiday Motel on suspicions it was a hooker haven.
Two women were arrested during the bust, and the hotel was shut down under the city’s nuisance-abatement laws.
With Erik Badia and Mark Morales