Community Board 12 chairman Father Richard Gorman has been worried about Project Renewal, a homeless shelter in the Wakefield section of the Bronx, ever since it was first proposed five years ago. Gorman's concern, he said in an interview yesterday, was partly motivated by discrimination lawsuits against Project Renewal, partly because of its troubled management of a Manhattan facility and partly because a number of other shelter operators have been flocking to the same neighborhood.

Now, Gorman and City Council Members Andrew Cohen and Andy King, as well as State Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, are calling for Project Renewal's Bronx Boulevard shelter to be shut down, after its shelter director was kidnapped, possibly sexually assaulted and fatally shot in the street by a former resident.

Police believe that Ana Charle, 36, was ambushed on Monday evening when she was leaving the Bronx Boulevard shelter near East 237th Street. As the NY Times puts it, West Spruill, 39, who had lived there since last summer until January of this year, "stalked and then abducted Charle, forced her to undress in her car, chased her as she tried to flee naked through the streets and then shot her down."

Spruill, who was also naked when he shot her, put on his clothes and tried to flee, but the police caught him: "In Mr. Spruill’s bag were plastic wrist-ties to restrain his victim. The license plate number of his target was written down on a slip of paper."

Gorman places the blame with the Department of Homeless Services (which has been repeatedly criticized for mismanagement), telling us, "Every person who is in need of assistance should be the object of our compassion and concern. Everybody, whether they are criminals or sex offenders or drug abusers, deserves a second chance. But that second chance must be handled in a responsible and credible way. Obviously, the DHS doesn't know how to do that and that's been proved time and time again."

He called Project Renewal's Bronx Boulevard shelter "an example of the rather disingenuous way that DHS has approached housing the homeless in our communities. They do not fully reveal" who will be housed there.

Pointing to Project Renewal's website, Gorman notes that the group works "with folks who have mental health issues, substance abuse issues, AIDS issues...Whether they should be dealing with people who have a criminal background or sex offenders is another question entirely."

"The only explanation I got from DHS," he said, "about putting 50 some sex offenders here is, 'Well, they have to put them somewhere and this is one of the few places that meets the requirements.'"

Spruill has been arrested and imprisoned before; according to the Daily News, he "served 11 years in state prison for an attempted murder and assault in 1994 and was released in 2005. He then served time in a Michigan prison from 2006 to 2014 for assault with a dangerous weapon." Spruill reportedly came to NYC after his release last year, and entered the shelter system.

In an interview with the Times, Council member Cohen "said people staying at the shelter had made more than 175 calls to 911 this year, and hundreds more last year, taxing community and police resources." A meeting with DHS months ago, asking for more security, got community leaders nowhere.

Gorman told us that when CB 12 asked DHS to station one of its officers at Project Renewal, the agency said at first, "Sorry we don't have those kind of resources" and later said that "maybe they'd think about it, but if there's anything going on in the facility, it's not affecting anyone in the community."

Charle's former boyfriend Gary Alcendor told the Post, "She requested security, but they never provided it at that place."

Spruill was arraigned yesterday afternoon, "barefoot and wearing a tattered jumpsuit," on murder and criminal possession of weapon charges. He repeatedly yelled, saying at one point, “That’s not my attorney!...I want to represent myself!" The defendent also demanded to speak when a prosecutor told the judge that when Charle, trying to escape, "fell to the ground... the defendant stood over her, shooting her multiple times."

Charle leaves behind two daughters, ages 9 and 11.

Gorman emphasized that all the people that Project Renewal treats "deserve our compassion" but if they are not "help[ing] them in a proper way, and helping raise them up, that is sinful. The problem is the DHS, it doesn't know how to meet the needs of the homeless and the people who run DHS don't deal with community members." Council member Cohen echoed DHS's inadequate assistance to Project Renewal in an interview with PIX11.

Gorman blamed the DHS for immediately having an "adversarial relationship" with residents and said, "Mayor de Blasio should find people to run DHS who are ready for prime time."

The press conference calling for Project Renewal's closure will be outside the shelter, 4380 Bronx Boulevard (near intersection of Nereid Avenue), at 2:30 p.m. Project Renewal declined to comment about the demands for its closure.

Update: The Coalition for the Homeless released a statement from President and CEO Mary Brosnahan:

“Punishing the other residents of Project Renewal’s Bronx Boulevard Men’s Shelter by closing it down would be the worst response to this tragedy. Rather than taking the easy way out, we need our elected officials to contribute to real solutions.

“That means fighting to fund more supportive housing - which is proven to help those with mental illness get the help they need to stay off the streets. Unfortunately, even with record homelessness, Albany has sharply cut funding for supportive housing -- the very solution we know can prevent future tragedies like this one.”