By Selamawit Gebrekidan and Dan Lieberman
On Nelson Ave. in the Highbridge section of the Bronx, one side of a rundown store bears the markings of a graffiti artist, who, in blue paint, signed this tribute one month ago: “Nova loves Anna.”
Last Sunday, Nova – Anthony Jimenez, 30 – was arrested for the murder of Anna Radzimirski, 25, his girlfriend of four years, who was fatally shot in the head and chest, according to the police.
The night before, Jimenez and his friend Jordan Miles, 17, were playing video games in the cramped second floor apartment the couple shared at 1066 Woodycrest Ave., according to Miles. Just before midnight, Jimenez was on the phone with another friend trying to comfort the caller, as Radzimirski slept in the same room.
“He started talking about how things is going to be alright,” Miles remembered. “He said ‘God is great,’ over and over again, and then it got to the point that he was screaming.”
This woke Radzimirski, who complained to him about the noise and tried to calm him down, according to Miles. She then spoke to a friend on the phone about how Jimenez was not the same person, and that she could “see it in his eyes,” Miles said.
Suddenly, Jimenez grabbed his silver gun, cocked it and shot Radzimirski in the head, according to Miles.
“After he shot her, my eyes were on the gun and my reflex was to grab it,” Miles said on Monday pulling down his sweatshirt to show his bandaged arm and bite marks. He said that he tackled Jimenez and they both tripped over the narrow stairs in the house to the first floor. The gun went off again and grazed Miles on his left arm. Finally prying the gun out of Jimenenz’s grip, Miles ran the two blocks to his basement apartment at 1149 Nelson Ave. and called the police.
Neighbors had different accounts about the night. Hassan Toure, 19, who lives on the first floor, said he heard two shots in the apartment and another down the street. Two other tenants in the two-story apartment said they didn’t hear a single shot.
Toure said that the couple spent a lot of time together and dressed alike in large sweaters and polyester pants. He said that every day, the couple drove off with a heavyset man, who Toure said was Radzimirski’s father. He would pick the couple up in a white van to take them to work, Toure said.
On Saturday night, Toure was frying plantains in his tiny kitchen on the first floor when he overheard the arguments through the thin walls. Thinking they were fighting over “small stuff,” because they were usually quiet, he ignored the noise and went on to watch a movie but soon heard two gun shots.
“I would never think that this would happen between those two because they were too sweet together,” he said.
According to neighbors, all seven tenants at the Woodycrest Ave. apartment recently moved in after the landlord parceled the single-story, one-family apartment into five separate units in November. Tenants on the second floor share a kitchen downstairs where numerous signs beg for silence and cleanliness. The couple moved in early December. Another neighbor, who asked for anonymity, said she remembered overhearing the couple fight many times.
Friends and neighbors said that Jimenez had a history of drug abuse with a predilection for PCP or “Angel Dust”– a habit they said his girlfriend shared.
Despite his repeated shouts of “God is great,” Miles said, Jimenez was not religious.
According to Toure, Jimenez liked to smoke in the small foyer by the front door. He also brought a lot of friends to the apartment which, Toure said, might have led to a burglary at the couple’s apartment a month and a half ago.
Jimenez was arraigned on Sunday for second degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon and second degree assault. He is now at Riker’s Island prison waiting for his first day in court scheduled for Friday.
On Tuesday, the second floor room was sealed by police and a dripping green paint on the door read “Slime Time.”