On February 3, 2019, members of the drug gang MS-13 murdered a member of the 18th Street gang on a New York City Subway platform in Queens. The confrontation began at one station, continued on a 7 train, and spilled out of the train onto the platform of the 90th Street–Elmhurst Avenue station, where a bystander recorded the killing in front of many subway riders.
The alleged shooter, MS-13 member Ramiro Gutierrez, was living in the United States as an illegal immigrant, and had been arrested and charged with crimes multiple times in 2018.
The incident took place on February 3, 2019, where two men assaulted and ultimately killed a man on the platform of the 90th Street–Elmhurst Avenue station of the New York City Subway in Elmhurst and Jackson Heights, Queens. The shooting allegedly started at another station and continued on a westbound 7 train. The two men were captured on video attacking their victim, before one of the attackers fired six shots, fatally wounding the victim.
The killings took place in the context of growing drug gang activity in Queens.
In December 2018 Gutierrez was one of a group of 12 individuals charged with conspiracy, attempted murder, and drug and weapons charges. Queens County prosecutor's office requested that bail be set at $100,000. His attorney argued that Gutierrez was a humble family who could not afford a high bail, and got it lowered to $2,500 by Judge Barry Schwartz. by man who worked construction jobs and could not afford the steep $100,000 bail demanded by prosecutors. Because the bail was so low, Gutierrez was able to post it on the day he was arraigned, only two days after being arrested. New York Department of Corrections officials knew that Gutierrez was in the country illegally, but did not notify ICE, and too little time elapsed between the arrest and the suspect's release to enable ICE discover his immigration status and issue a request for detainer, requesting that local officials notify ICE 48 hours before releasing a detainable prisoner. He was free while awaiting trial.
Gutierrez has been arrested 12 separate times. He has been in New York City since at least 2010, when he received a summons for disorderly conduct. Since then he has been charged with at least nine misdemeanors in addition to four felony charges, including for drug possession. He was arrested twice in May 2018 on stolen property charges. Records on five of his arrests are sealed.
Suspects Tito Martinez-Alvarenga, 19, and Victor Lopez, 20, were taken into police custody on January 26, 2019. Members of the 18th Street gang, have been charged with murder, gang assault, kidnapping and weapon possession.
Arrests and legal proceedings
The suspected gunman was arrested.
In the 2019 State of the Union address, President Donald Trump cited the shooting as one of several reasons to build a wall along the Mexico–United States border, saying, "Just yesterday, an MS-13 gang member was taken into custody for a fatal shooting on a subway platform in New York City." An ex cathedra editorial in the New York Daily News dissented, saying that Gutierrez was at large because the Immigration and Customs Enforcement is "overstretched" by a Trump administration mandate to identify and deport illegal immigrants who are not violent criminals. Gutierrez's attorney alleged that the State of the Union "undermines my client’s presumption of innocence." However, former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka said that the shooting proves that the U.S.-Mexican border is a "national security threat".
New York State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis tweeted that Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—who represents the New York's 14th congressional district, where the shooting took place—had "spent months calling for ICE to be abolished". The television current events show Fox & Friends broadcast "uncensored" footage of the killing overlaid with chyrons criticizing Ocasio-Cortez's positions, and host Brian Kilmeade said “We have video of him being murdered in the district of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.” The congresswoman responded by tweeting "Unlike these people, I actually care about my community...".
WNYC reported the formation of groups such as "Latinos for ICE" in the wake of the shooting. The station also reported that Francisco Moya, the city councilman for the district, would open town hall meetings to avoid groups such as Latinos for ICE from fomenting "public panic" and to preserve New York's "sanctuary" status.
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Mr. Mosso, a Mexican citizen, was a purported member of the 18th Street Gang. Both men, according to immigration officials, were in the United States without documentation.
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city policy doesn’t let cops check on immigration status, even in extreme cases such as suspected MS-13ers.
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Meantime, two other suspects remain on the run, and police released images of those wanted for questioning in the case.
- "Police Release New Photos Of Man Wanted For Questioning In Subway Platform Shooting". WCBS-TV - CBS 2. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
The man is described as Hispanic, 20 to 25 years old, last seen wearing a dark “New York” skull hat, dark clothing and white sneakers.
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