Tag Archives: Murder

Suspect arrested for 2013 Jamaica homicide


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Google Maps/Inset courtesy Richmond County, Va. Sheriff's Office

Following a two-year investigation, a Virginia man is facing justice for the March 2013 murder of a 21-year-old Jamaica man at a neighborhood intersection.

Police said Melquan Collier, 23, of Warsaw, Va.  allegedly shot Roshane Morrison, 21, of Dillon Street in Jamaica on the morning of March 31, 2013. He was extradited back to Queens on May 21 and booked on charges of second-degree murder, bail jumping and criminal possession of a weapon.

Officers from the 113th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call, found Morrison shot in the torso at the corner of 110th Avenue and 179th Place. He was pronounced dead a short time later at Jamaica Hospital.

According to authorities, the U.S. Marshals alerted the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office last week that Collier was possibly in their area.

Based on further investigation, the sheriff’s office reportedly tracked Collier to a home in Haynesville, Va., where he was located during a May 18 raid. Law enforcement sources said Collier – who tried to conceal his true identity by providing police with a fake name – was apprehended at the scene. Officers also seized two firearms from the home.

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Jamaica funeral set for rapper slain in Briarwood drive-by shooting


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Instagram/@chinxmusic

A Jamaica church will host the wake and funeral Tuesday for the rapper Chinx, real name Lionel Pickens, who was murdered in a Briarwood drive-by shooting on May 17.

Family members, friends, relatives and colleagues will gather at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral, located at 110-31 Merrick Blvd., on May 26 at 11 a.m. for a brief wake, followed by funeral services set to begin at noon.

Pickens, a Rockaway native who resided in Ozone Park, was gunned down while sitting with a friend inside his Porsche at the corner of Queens Boulevard and 84th Avenue at 4:04 a.m. on May 17. According to police, an unidentified gunman pulled up in another vehicle and opened fire, then sped away from the scene.

Shot multiple times about his body, Pickens died later that morning at Jamaica Hospital. His friend, a 27-year-old man, remains hospitalized in critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to his back.

As Chinx, Pickens was considered to be an up-and-coming star in the hip-hop world.  His career began with a partnership with the late rapper Stack Bundles, but was sidetracked after being sentenced to prison for a robbery conviction in 2005.

While Pickens was incarcerated, Bundles was himself shot to death. According to the NY Daily News, police are reportedly investigating whether the two murders are connected.

After being released from prison in 2008, Pickens relaunched his rap career with French Montana. Chinx gained a following among hip-hop fans following the 2012 release of his single, “I’m a Coke Boy.” He was slated to release an album later this year titled “Welcome to JFK.”

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Reputed gang member arrested in murder on Roosevelt Avenue


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD/via Google Maps

Updated Monday, May 18, 4:09 p.m. 

A reported gang member has been apprehended in the deadly shooting of a Corona man in Jackson Heights earlier this month, authorities said.

Raul Zamora, a reputed member of the Sureños 13 gang, has been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree gang assault and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the death of 38-year-old Jorge Manzanarez, according to the district attorney’s office.

Police identified Zamora, 33, who lives in Jackson Heights, just blocks from the crime scene, as the suspected shooter last Monday, arresting him on Saturday.

According to officials, Zamora and two other unapprehended individuals got into an argument with Manzanarez at about 2:30 p.m. on May 5 on Roosevelt Avenue near 94th Street. Manzanarez was then shot once in the chest.

Manzanarez was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Zamora, who faces 25 years to life in prison, was ordered held with out bail at his arraignment on Sunday.

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Suspect identified in fatal shooting of Corona man on Roosevelt Avenue


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD/via Google Maps

Police have identified an alleged gang member as the shooter suspected of killing a 38-year-old Corona man in broad daylight on a Jackson Heights street last week.

According to authorities, Raul Zamora, a reported member of the Sureños 13 gang, and two other individuals got into a verbal dispute with the victim, Jorge Manzanarez, just before 2:30 p.m. on May 5 on Roosevelt Avenue near 94th Street. Zamora then pulled out a gun, shooting Manzanarez in the torso. Police believe the shooting was gang-related.

EMS rushed Manzanarez to Elmhurst Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Zamora is described as 33 years old, Hispanic, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 145 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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NYPD officer shot in Queens Village dies of his injuries


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPDNews

BY ROBERT POZARYCKI AND CRISTABELLE TUMOLA

Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2:07 p.m.

The police officer who was shot while on patrol in Queens Village Saturday night died of his injuries Monday, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.

P.O. Brian Moore, 25, of the 105th Precinct, had reportedly been in a medically induced coma at Jamaica Hospital after complications from emergency surgery set in.

“He already proved himself to be an exceptional young officer,” Bratton said of Moore, who had been on the force for just under five years. Bratton, speaking outside of Jamaica Hospital Monday afternoon, added that in that short time, Moore had made 150 arrests, winning various medals for meritorious service.

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

Officer Brian Moore (Photo courtesy of NYPD)

“We ask for the people of the city to pray for them,” Bratton continued, referring to Moore’s family, which includes his father and an uncle, both retired NYPD sergeants, and a cousin who is on the job.

Moore was behind the wheel of an unmarked police car when was shot by the alleged gunman, identified as Demetrius Blackwell, 35, of 212th Place in Queens Village.

Authorities said Moore and his partner, P.O. Erik Jansen, pulled up to Blackwell at the corner of 212th Street and 104th Road at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday and questioned him after observing him motioning toward his waistband as if handling a firearm.

Upon questioning Blackwell, the suspect allegedly pulled out a firearm and fired several shots at the car, striking Moore in the face and head.

Jansen, who was uninjured, radioed for assistance. A responding patrol car rushed Moore to Jamaica Hospital. Though he was listed as being in critical but stable condition as of Sunday, his condition reportedly worsened thereafter.

Police tracked down Blackwell at his home Saturday night, a few hours after the shooting took place. The weapon believed to have been used in the shooting, a silver revolver reported stolen from Georgia in 2011, was recovered by officers in Queens Village Monday.

As of Monday morning, Blackwell was currently being held without bail on first-degree attempted murder and other charges. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown announced later that afternoon that the charges against Blackwell will be upgraded as a result of Moore’s death to first-degree murder.

Photo via Instagrams/@schweetlife

The Queens Village street near where Moore was shot on Saturday. (Photo via Instagrams/@schweetlife)

According to the NYPD, a wake for Moore, who resided in Massapequa, Long Island, will be held on Thursday at the Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in Bethpage from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and 7 to 9:30 p.m. His funeral will take place the following day, at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford, Long Island, at 11 a.m.

On Monday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all flags to fly at half-staff on all city buildings and stationary flagstaffs throughout the five boroughs until Moore is laid to rest. Gov. Andrew Cuomo also ordered flags on all state government buildings to fly at half-staff.

This is the first line-of-duty homicide that the NYPD suffered since December, when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were fatally shot on a Brooklyn street. Their killer took his own life moments after the shooting.

“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the loss of Police Officer Brian Moore,” de Blasio said in a statement. “For five years, Brian served with distinction and he put his life on the line each day to keep us all safe. On Saturday, he made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the people of New York City.”

President Obama — in Manhattan Monday for an address at Lehman College — also mourned the officer’s death.

“He came from a family of police officers,” Obama was quoted in The New York Times. “And the family of fellow officers he joined in the NYPD and across the country deserve our gratitude and our prayers, not just today but every day. They’ve got a tough job.”

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Rosedale businessman shot to death in car in St. Albans


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@jerwainegorman

Detectives are searching for the killer of a Rosedale businessman and civic activist who was gunned down inside a car on a St. Albans block Wednesday afternoon.

Jerwaine Gorman, 34, was shot in the chest while sitting inside a Mercedes-Benz in front of a home on 167th Street between Linden Boulevard and 115th Avenue at about 12:30 p.m. A woman sitting in the driver’s seat at the time was not injured, cops said.

According to police, an unidentified gunman walked up to the vehicle and fired a single shot at Gorman before fleeing the scene.

Paramedics rushed Gorman to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Gorman was an active member of the Southeast Queens Young Democrats and a successful entrepreneur in the area. According to his biography on the club’s website, Gorman started out as a real estate investor in 2003 at the age of 21. Within three years, he had acquired seven properties.

In 2006, Gorman opened up his own barbershop and community center and launched a Cold Stone Creamery franchise in Huntington, Long Island. He later opened his own ice cream parlor, Gorman’s Creamery, on Merrick Boulevard in Laurelton.

In the community, Gorman reportedly coached a youth football team and advocated in previous years to have a stop sign installed in front of his daughter’s school.

Gorman leaves behind a wife and three children.

Anyone with information regarding the murder is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

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Queens nurse charged with murder in disabled toddler’s scalding death: DA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated Thursday, April 30, 12:33 p.m.

A St. Albans nurse could face life in prison after she allegedly burned a severely developmentally disabled 1-year-old girl in scalding bath water, prosecutors said.

Oluyemisi Adebayo, 54, was arrested Wednesday morning as she was about to board a flight to Africa via London, according to the district attorney’s office. She was arraigned Thursday in Queens Criminal Court on a second-degree murder charge in the death of the 23-month-old girl from Rosedale.

Adebayo, a licensed practical nurse who was hired to take care of the child at her home, said the toddler was burned when she was giving her a bath on April 21, prosecutors said.

According to District Attorney Richard Brown, Adebayo stated that she had tested the water before placing the girl in a baby tub. When she removed the child, she noticed that her skin was falling off her legs.

On Friday, doctors at Nassau University Medical Center performed surgery on the child to treat second- and third-degree immersion scald burns that covered about 50 percent of her body, the district attorney said. The girl died three days later. Preliminary autopsy findings found that her cause of death was consistent with complications from thermal injury.

Medical personnel said that Adebayo’s story of how the child was burned was inconsistent with her injuries.

Tests performed by the NYPD found that the maximum water temperature of the faucet used to fill the tub was 130 degrees, and that it took about 120 seconds for the water to reach that level, prosecutors said. The severity of her injuries was consistent with her having been submerged up to her waist in 130 degree water for about 30 seconds.

Adebayo, who was ordered held without bail, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

NOTE: An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Adebayo as a licensed nurse practitioner. 

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Richmond Hill man charged in fatal shooting of Queens grandmother


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@NYPD113Pct

Updated Monday, April 27, 5:11 p.m.

Detectives slapped the cuffs on a Richmond Hill man Friday night for fatally shooting a 71-year-old grandmother at her Jamaica home last month, authorities said.

Julian Douglas, 22, was arraigned Saturday on second-degree murder and weapons possession charges for the March 31 killing of Leta Webb at her 119th Avenue home.

According to the district attorney’s office, Webb answered a knock at her front door just before 2 a.m. that morning and, after opening it, was shot in the head and left arm.

Officers from the 113th Precinct and EMS units responded to the scene. Webb was pronounced dead later that morning at Jamaica Hospital.

Police reportedly believe that Webb was not the intended target of the shooting and that the incident may have been gang-related.

Douglas, who was remanded into custody, faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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Richmond Hill teen fatally stabs stepfather over dirty dishes: DA


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

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Updated 5:44 p.m.

A 19-year-old college student has been arrested after stabbing his stepfather at their Richmond Hill apartment Sunday afternoon following an argument over washing the dishes, prosecutors said.

Nickel McLean allegedly told police that he had just returned home from playing soccer that afternoon when he got into the dispute with his stepfather, 50-year-old David Hightower. During the confrontation, he said Hightower threatened and struck him, according to the district attorney’s office.

Cops found Hightower inside his home on 114th Street near Myrtle Avenue at about 2:30 p.m., authorities said. He had been stabbed several times in the chest, abdomen and arm.

Hightower was transported to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

McLean was taken into custody at the scene and charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, officials said. He was held on $500,000 bail following his arraignment Monday morning.

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Man found stabbed to death on Hollis street corner


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

Police are investigating the murder of a 39-year-old man who was found stabbed on a Hollis street corner early Sunday morning.

Officers discovered Jamaica resident Otto Emilio Ajpacaja-Cua at 184th Street and Jamaica Avenue just before 4:30 a.m. after he had been stabbed in the chest and thigh, authorities said.

EMS rushed Ajpacaja-Cua to Jamaica Hospital, but he did not survive.

According to police, an argument led to the stabbing. There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.

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Man killed in Astoria shooting


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

Police are investigating a deadly shooting in Astoria Sunday evening.

Sean Overton, 42, was gunned down just after 5 p.m. outside the Astoria Houses at 2-10 Astoria Blvd., authorities said.

Officers found Overton, who lived at the NYCHA complex, lying on his back with one gunshot wound to his neck and another to his torso, police said.

He was taken to Mount Sinai Queens, where he was pronounced dead.

There have been no arrests.

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Homeless Queens woman sentenced for 2010 Astoria Park beating, strangulation


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com


A 33-year-old homeless woman has been sentenced to 17 years to life in prison for her role in the 2010 fatal beating and strangulation of a 32-year-old man in Astoria Park, according to the Queens district attorney.

Kelly Harnett, whose last known address was in Astoria, was convicted of second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and sentenced on Thursday at the Queens Supreme Court.

“The defendant, along with a male co-defendant, brutally attacked a 32-year-old man in the park. The victim was robbed of his wallet and viciously beaten and choked to death,” said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. “This willful act of violence warranted a lengthy prison term.”

According to Brown, on July 7, 2010, at about 4 a.m. Harnett, together with Thomas Donovan, attacked the victim, Ruben Angel Vargas, by choking him manually and also with a shoelace from Harnett’s sneaker. Vargas was then kicked repeatedly in the head and torso and his wallet was taken while he lay motionless on the ground.

Donovan pleaded guilty in 2010 to first-degree manslaughter and is currently serving 15 years in prison.

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Girlfriend charged with deadly botched robbery of boyfriend in St. Albans


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com


Updated at 4:15 p.m.

The girlfriend of a 33-year-old Jamaica man shot to death in St. Albans Thursday afternoon was locked up Friday for her role in the homicide, according to authorities.

Prosecutors said Natasha Mohabeer, 30, of 126th Street in South Ozone Park collaborated with two unidentified males to rob the victim, Michael Jonathan, at the corner of Fonda Avenue and Mayville Street just before 2:47 p.m. Thursday.

But all did not go according to plan, as Jonathan engaged the robbers in a physical struggle after they confronted him, police said. Moments later, one of the crooks reportedly shot Jonathan in the torso.

Authorities said both unidentified suspects remain at large.

Officers from the 113th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call regarding the incident, found Jonathan wounded at the intersection. Paramedics brought him to a local hospital, where he died a short time later.

In questioning Mohabeer, detectives learned that she worked with the two at-large suspects in concocting the planned robbery, according to prosecutors. Mohabeer was subsequently charged with second-degree murder, first-degree attempted robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

“This is yet another example of the senseless gun violence in our community that must end,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said. “[Mohabeer] now faces being locked behind bars for the rest of her life.”

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the two suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.  

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Arrest made in Glendale homicide; actual shooter and accomplice still at large


| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

CrimeSceneTapeHC1010_L_300_C_R-624x416

Originally published Sunday, March 22, 11:02 a.m.
Updated Monday, March 23, 9:42 a.m.

Police arrested an Ozone Park woman Sunday night in connection with the fatal shooting of a 21-year-old man in Glendale earlier that morning.

Jordan Paulino, 17, of Glenmore Avenue faces first-degree manslaughter and other charges for her alleged role in the slaying of Jordan Santos, 21, of 84th Street in Lindenwood.

Law enforcement sources said Paulino and Santos were acquaintances, and that the suspect allegedly helped lure Santos to the Edsall Avenue location where he was shot inside his SUV at about 2 a.m. Sunday.

The actual shooter and an accomplice involved in the murder — both of whom were male, according to police — remain at large.

Officers from the 104th Precinct, in responding to a reported shooting, discovered Santos shot in the neck while sitting behind the wheel of a Lexus SUV parked on Edsall Avenue near 72nd Street. Paramedics rushed Santos to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

Reportedly, the unidentified shooter walked up to Santos, opened fire on him and fled in an unknown direction.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

It was the second homicide in the 104th Precinct since last Saturday, March 14, when 21-year-old Eric Santiago was fatally shot outside a Ridgewood pool hall. Police arrested the suspected killer Thursday night.

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Two charged in deadly shooting at Richmond Hill gas station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot via NYPD

Two Brooklyn men have been arrested for the fatal January shooting of a man at a gas station near the Van Wyck Expressway, police said.

Charles Williams, 26, and Moeleek Harrell, 25, have both been charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the Jan. 20 incident, according to authorities.

The two allegedly approached Derek Quattlebaum, a 28-year-old Brooklyn resident, at about 3 p.m. that day at a BP gas station in Richmond Hill at the intersection of Van Wyck Expressway and Atlantic Avenue, and then fired at him.

Video footage released by police shows two suspects running into a blue Audi at the station and driving away.

Quattlebaum was shot in the head, torso and limbs, and taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died.

A motive for the shooting was not immediately clear.

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