Debra Greene received a call at work last April that changed her life forever. Her oldest son, Theodore Malcolm Greene, had been shot on his way home by an unknown perpetrator and by the time she reached the hospital, Theodore was gone.
One year later, there are still no answers for this grieving mother who said all she wants is closure and justice.
“It’s not easy, there’s no closure,” said Greene. “I fight with anger all the time. Someone had to have seen something.”
The 26-year-old victim had been coming back from celebrating a friend’s birthday in Manhattan when he was approached at approximately 5 a.m. and shot 21 times in front of 98-25 Horace Harding Expressway in LeFrak City on Friday, April 20.
Greene said all she knows is that there had been a fight at the club that night, but that through surveillance videos, police noted her son was not a part of the quarrel.
“None of this makes sense to me,” said Greene. “I would like to know, I would like justice.”
Now, Councilmember Daniel Dromm and Senator Jose Peralta have come together to urge local residents to speak up and help solve this murder. An additional $2,000 has been pledged to the initial $22,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.
“A killer is free in New York City and we don’t know who that is,” said Dromm. “By increasing the reward amount, we are sending a strong message that we are not giving up on our search.”
Peralta said the community needs to denounce gun violence loudly and help save another similar incident from happening.
“Guns are a plague in some Queens communities,” said Peralta. “I will continue my fight to get them off of our streets and to put violent criminals in jail.”
Dromm also addressed the recent vote in Congress surrounding gun control.
“It’s a total disgrace,” he said. “We have to, as Americans, realize that gun violence affects our communities, affects families, affects mothers. When a mother loses a child, their life is never the same again.”
Along with lending his support in helping solve the LeFrak City murder, Peralta emphasized the need to pass firearm microstamping, which would allow guns and ammunition to become easier to track with markings on shell casings left behind at crime scenes. This method, Peralta believes, could have already helped solve Theodore’s murder.
“It will take all of us working together as neighbors and friends to bring peace to the lives of the family of Theodore Greene and at least some comfort,” said Peralta. “These bullet cases could be the difference between finding the killer and not.”
In the meantime, Greene passes the site where her son was cut down every day.
Some days, she said, are better than others. But some days, reality hits and she remembers her “smart boy” who had plans for a future.
Officials are asking anyone with information on this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.
- Long Island City murder leads to calls against gun violence
- Husband, friends mourn Lou Rispoli as hunt for murder suspects intensifies
- Death threats made against Rep. Carolyn Maloney over gun control support