Brooklyn man killed by homeless roommate paid the ultimate price for his good deed
Despite his biblical name — or maybe because of it — one woman had suspected there was something not quite right about the homeless man who confessed to killing her Brooklyn neighbor.
Cops said Moses Ewan, 35, confessed his sins and told shelter workers Friday night that he killed his roommate, Ronald Snoddy, 67, whose body was later found in his East New York apartment with multiple stab wounds.
According to the Bible, Moses had killed an Egyptian and fled. But the neighbor, who lived near the victim at the Spring Creek Towers, said she never suspected Ewan would take another man’s life.
“I spoke to him about the word of God,” said the neighbor, who said she was too afraid to share her name. “I said you have a very powerful name. I would always encourage him. ‘Go to church. Be positive. These streets are no good.’ ”
The neighbor said she sensed something was off about Ewan, but was shocked to hear about his confession.
“To me, he was always a sweet person,” the neighbor said. “I can’t believe I know the killer.”
Friends said Snoddy took Ewan into his home three years ago after meeting him at a local grocery store where Ewan worked, and learning about his plight.
Neighbors said Snoddy had lived in the Spring Creek Towers for more than 25 years, working odd jobs, including a stint as a parking lot attendant. They said he loved to cook, and often went to the supermarket, which was where he met Ewan.
“Ronnie’s the kind of person who’s too friendly,” said neighbor Migdalia Vega. “You meet him, you have a friend for life.”
Vega said she was home with her daughter Friday, and that Ewan knocked on their door after the slaying. They heard him, but by the time someone got to the door, he was gone.
Police said Ewan later showed up at the 30th St. Men’s Shelter in Kips Bay, claiming he killed his roommate in an apartment they shared.
Workers called EMS, who took Ewan to Metropolitan Hospital for a psychiatric examination.
Shelter officials also called police, who went to the 10th-floor apartment at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday and found Snoddy sprawled out on a bedroom floor with stab wounds to his head and body, cops said.
Officials said they did not have a motive for the killing. Ewan was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
According to a criminal complaint, Ewan showed up at the shelter saying he couldn’t go home, and needed a place to stay because he had killed his roommate.
Another neighbor said Snoddy had survived a stroke last year.
“He was a survivor,” she said, describing him as a “people person” with “a good heart.”
She said she thought his roommate was weird.
“Honestly, I was kind of scared of him,” she said. “One day I was sitting out there and I guess he felt comfortable enough to conversate.”
She said he asked her if she had a boyfriend.
“I said ‘Oh, I’m going upstairs now.’ ”
The woman said Ewan used to complain about having to sleep on the sofa.
“OK, if you’re living in someone else’s house, they’re not going to allow you to come in their bedroom,” she said. “Get you a pullout bed and put it in the living room.”
A friend of Snoddy showed off a memorial poster he designed in the victim’s honor. It featured two of his great loves, cards and singer Janet Jackson.
“He loved Janet Jackson and he was really good at cards,” the friend said. “It hit my heart really hard.”
He attached a marker to the poster for others to write a few words.
Neighbor Rose Miranda was taping the poster back up after it had fallen.
“I can’t get over it,” she said. “What can we do? It’s such a shame.”