A man stabbed multiple times in the back was found dead in the first-floor stairwell of a Queens apartment complex early Sunday, police said.
Cops were called to the Hammel Houses on Beach Channel Drive near Beach 82nd St. in Rockaway Beach at about 1:30 a.m.
A neighbor reported finding the body of Joseph Smart, 47, according to police. Smart lived on the second floor.
Smart’s family was still trying to sort out what happened, said his twin brother, Jonathan.
“I just know that he was murdered. I don’t have any specifics on what as of yet,” he said. “I’m waiting for the police to give me some more insight.”
Smart lived with his girlfriend, and has a son who lives in South Carolina, his brother said.
“His story is the same as my story. We lost our mother at the age of 10,” Jonathan Smart said. “We’re adopted at 17, 18, grew up in East New York. He went to Thomas Jefferson High School.”
While Jonathan kept a low profile, Joseph lived a flashy life in his youth, and got into some trouble with the law.
But he recently started a job with a city agency.
“He was trying to get his life together,” Jonathan Smart said.
The two last spoke two weeks ago, and the conversation seemed ordinary.
“Just, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ Normal stuff,’ ” his brother said.
Cops were still trying to determine a motive early Monday, and had not made any arrests.
Police were also searching for a suspect in a separate stabbing in Midtown on Sunday night.
At about 8 p.m., an attacker in khaki shorts and no shirt stabbed a 19-year-old man after the two argued outside 5 Boro Pizza on W. 38th St. and Eighth Ave.
The attacker, a Hispanic man in his 20s who had a tattoo that wrapped around his lower back, chased the victim, knifing him in his hand and lower back.
He then ran north on Eighth Ave., cops said.
Medics took the victim to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition.
With Andy Mai