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Father of 13 who saved family from fire gunned down in ambush outside Brooklyn brownstone

A beloved father of 13 children who saved his family from a house fire started by their landlord was gunned down outside of a Brooklyn brownstone early Sunday morning in an apparent targeted attack.

Lavel Fraiser, 40, known by friends as “Flip,” was ambushed and fatally shot in the torso by a group of gunmen who were “waiting for him,” neighbors and police said.

Fraiser was found in the backyard of a building at 673 Sterling Place just after 1 a.m., police said.

“He got shot outside in front. He staggered in all the way to the back. He was hiding back there,” the building’s super, John Williams, 49, told The Post.

“I don’t know what the beef was. He was a nice guy.”

A 40-year-old father was fatally shot in Brooklyn early Sunday morning. Gregory P. Mango
A 40-year-old father was fatally shot in Brooklyn early Sunday morning. Gregory P. Mango

Williams, who said he’d known Flip for about seven years, saw him being taken away on a stretcher by EMS and told him “Please live!”

“The shooters were waiting for him. They came in a car here in front,” Williams said. “Everybody knows Flip. He’s a good guy.”

Fraiser’s wife, Andriana, 28, said he was a “superhero” father to his 13 children — four of whom they share.

His wife recalled how he heroically saved their family from their previous apartment after their landlord allegedly set the building on fire over one tenant’s unpaid rent.

“He saved me and my children’s lives. We were in a house fire last September,” she said. “He saved all of us, me and my six children.”

Neighbors remembered the victim as being a “good guy” who didn’t have problems with anyone. Robert Mecea
Neighbors remembered the victim as being a “good guy” who didn’t have problems with anyone. Robert Mecea

She added: “He was good man. He was way humble. He was a vibe. He had his own business. He was very smart.”

Neighbors said Fraiser was not one to get into trouble. According to Williams, he “always” kept the peace.

Fraiser died at the hospital, police said.

Christopher McCarthy, 46, who lives down the block, said he’d been a friend of the victim and was the one who called 911.

One neighbor said he heard four shots ring out. Gregory P. Mango
One neighbor said he heard four shots ring out. Gregory P. Mango

“He was in the back. Outside in the back. He was sitting on the ground. He was shot,” McCarthy told The Post. “So I said Flip are you OK and he said nothing.”

“Then another friend started yelling ‘Call 911, come on call 911!’ So I called,” he said.

McCarthy, who has lived on Sterling Place for the past 24 years, said he was sleeping at the time his friend was shot.

“I came to get came out to get a bottle of water. And I just see Flip. I don’t know what happened. I saw him earlier in the day, he was fine,” McCarthy added.

Another neighbor, who asked to not be named, said he heard four shots ring out at the time of the shooting.

No arrests have been made in the shooting. Gregory P. Mango
No arrests have been made in the shooting. Gregory P. Mango

“He’s a good guy. Flip is a good guy. I can’t believe that really happened. I’m in shock,” McCarthy said, noting he, Fraiser and others in the neighborhood would always hang out in the backyard.

Fraiser came to New York from Panama and had “no problems” with anyone, according to McCarthy.

No arrests have been made at this time and the investigation remains ongoing.