Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Crime Comes Back with a Bloody Vengeance

Murder-Free Week Ends with Bloody Weekend
(Photo by David Greene)

By David Greene

BRONX, NEW YORK, OCTOBER 23- A rare lull in citywide homicides ended with a weekend of gunfire that claimed the lives of four individuals across the borough.

The bloodshed began shortly after Pennsylvania resident Tyrek Singleton returned to his childhood home at the John Adams Houses on Tinton Street.

Singleton and a friend were ambushed by two assailants outside of 680 Tinton Avenue, at just after 6 p.m., of October 18.

Singleton was shot in the chest and was dead on arrival at Lincoln Hospital. His still-unidentified 26-year-old friend was shot in the leg and is recovering.

One police source stated that the surviving victim stated he did not know his assailants and no arguments took place before the shooting.

Police were once again called to reports of gunfire at 2:15 a.m., on October 19, when officers from the 42nd Precinct and PSA 7 discovered a man shot in the head outside the Arthur H. Murphy Houses, located at 1575 Vyse Avenue.

Investigators say Pablo Pagan, 40, was pronounced dead at the scene, steps away from his apartment.

Neighbors described Pagan as a dedicated father of three children who volunteered at the Castle Hill Little League.

After a third call of gunfire, police in Soundview were called to 1550 Westchester Avenue and discovered a man shot in the head and chest and lying on the ground at 4:14 a.m.

Authorities say Marco Castillo, 24, was shot after an argument with two men. According to one published report, Castillo was brawling with one of his attackers and winning the battle, when the second individual pulled out the gun and shot him.

Castillo was rushed to Jacobi Hospital, where he died.

Residents reported hearing two gunshots and police are reportedly looking for two individuals, described as male Hispanics. The hooligan who started the fistfight was wearing a blue hooded jacket, the gunman reportedly had a mouth full of gold teeth.

A fourth victim was reported at 6:40 a.m. the following morning when police say Julio Ortiz, 38, of West 246 Street was also shot in the chest as he sat in his vehicle at a gas station.

Ortiz attempted to drive away, when he rear-ended another vehicle at Boston Road and Conner Street.

Ortiz was transported by EMS, but died at Jacobi Hospital.

A week earlier the city had reported a nearly unprecedented week as the NYPD released crime statistics for the week of October 7 through October 13, in which no homicides were reported in the five boroughs.

Marching at the annual Columbus Day Parade, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told reporters, "We had no homicides in the city, which is, I think, emblematic of how safe the city has become and what a great job the New York City police officers are doing."

Despite the bloodshed, if current trends continue the city could have the lowest murder rate in half a century. Last year the city recorded 419 killings.

Statistics show there have been 256 murders around the city in 2013, compared with 346 reported at the same time last year.

The NYPD also reports that overall gun crime is down with 879 shootings, compared with 1,145 recorded during the first ten-months of 2012.

Despite the statistics detectives have yet to make a single arrest in any of the most recent Bronx killings. Anyone with any information in any of the cases are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS.

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