A Brooklyn dog lover who successfully sued the city in a police brutality case was found shot dead in her apartment building vestibule late Monday night. Relatives believe that Ashante Goodwin, 23, was trying to escape an attacker outside her Herkimer St. apartment in Brownsville. Goodwin had several prior arrests on her record, but family members and police could not pinpoint any motive for the murder. "She was a good person. She had no problems. I don't know what happened," her brother, Johnathan Goodwin, 16, told the News.

Goodwin won a $30,000 settlement from the city last February; she had accused two cops of entering her apartment on March 9, 2008, killing her two dogs, dragging her through their blood, roughing her up, and unlawfully arresting her, all in response to neighbors complaints her dogs were outside off their leashes. Goodwin, who had nine prior arrests, including ones for petty larceny and drugs, was planning to attend LaGuardia Community College to become a veterinarian, and had a new 5-month-old pitbull, Hypnotic.