Midtown was rocked last night as a Diamond District merchant was murdered last night at 7:20PM on 6th Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets. The police feel Edmund Nektalov's death may have been a hit, as Nektalov was a part of a money laundering scheme from last summer; other possibilities are that it was a hate crime (Nektalov was wearing a yarmulke) and that it was a Diamond District robbery.

Of course, the reality turned surreal, with the presence of Candice Bergen and Lorraine Bracco. who were participating in a "Commander For a Day" program (is this what celebrities do on hiatus?), where people tag along with police officers. Both woman were very excited/startled at the scene of the crime, with Bracco saying she was in the wrong profession, "I know it's not PC [politically correct], but s--- happens like this in New York. This [should be] my real profession. I love this." Bergen said, "We actually saw brains. It's the first time I've ever seen brain matter." (Updated: Some commenters rightly point out that Bergen was more spooked than Bracco at the scene; Gothamist was basing some of what we wrote on early reports. We imagine Bergen is calling up her agent right now, saying "No more 'Commander for a Day' gigs - just 'Principal for a Day!'") Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was on the scene (he's pictured, talking to Bracco, below left), and he said, "It is unusual. It did take place on Sixth Avenue. New York is still the safest city in America."

Gothamist is pretty sure this is the money laundering scheme Nektalov was involved in - trying to smuggle $5.5 million of gold into the U.S. by turning it into regular objects, like solid gold wrenches. And Watch video from Eyewitness News ABC 7.