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Cops identify suspect in Vietnam vet’s Brooklyn murder

(Tony Hisgett/Flickr)

Police have identified a man wanted for the slaying of an elderly Vietnam War veteran in a friend’s Brooklyn apartment earlier this month.

Cops on Monday released a mug shot of Jose Mendoza, 34, who’s wanted for questioning in the killing of 72-year-old Leslie Lee on Feb. 7.

Police believe the killing was drug-related, cop sources said.

Lee had a drug abuse problem, the sources said. His friends told the Daily News he started spending time with a bad crowd after the 2017 death of his wife.

Police found Lee in an apartment on W. 11th St. near Avenue W, and initially thought he fell and hit his head. An autopsy revealed someone killed him. Police believe he was choked and hit on the head, his daughter told The News.

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Lee, who lived in another building in the same development, was visiting a female friend when he died.

The retired MTA train conductor was affectionately known as the “mayor” of the Brooklyn housing complex. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and left the military as a sergeant in 1971.

Cops describe Mendoza as 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds. They’re asking anyone with information about his whereabouts to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

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© 2020 New York Daily News