A Housing Authority police officer was shot to death last night while on duty outside the Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side. Vito Chiaramonte was found alive, shot in the chest and lying in the street, but died fifteen minutes later at Bellevue.
The victim was one of 1,400 men on the Housing Authority force, which covers the city’s 250 housing projects. Approximately 580,000 people live in the projects. The area in which the victim was shot was described by police as a “hard, tough” area, frequented by thieves and narcotics addicts. A section near the East River was known as a hangout for drug addicts and a haven for the area’s muggers and robbers after they flee the scenes of their crimes.
excerpt from Rudy Johnson NYT 9/27/77