gun violence

Alleged gunman in custody for killing woman, 71, waiting to cross NYC street

The 21-year-old alleged shooter was in custody, accused of killing Enriqueta Rivera

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What to Know

  • The alleged gunman in last week's Mott Haven shooting was arrested Monday, police announced
  • The 21-year-old is accused of gunning down Enriqueta Rivera, who was waiting to cross the street shortly after noon
  • Two women shot that afternoon joined two other innocent bystanders in a growing number of random shootings that had officials speaking out

A gunman accused of firing the bullet that struck and killed a 71-year-old woman as she stood on a Bronx curb waiting to cross the street last week has been arrested, police announced Monday.

The shooter opened fire around 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 14 on East 138th Street near Brook Avenue in the Mott Haven section, according to investigators.

Police say the shooting started with a dispute between two men, one of whom escalated the situation and pulled out a gun. Multiple shots were fired, but both the gunman and his intended target ran off. Detectives suspected each of the men to be local gang members.

By Monday, the NYPD announced the arrest of 21-year-old Joshua Evans on a handful of charges, including murder, attempted murder, manslaughter and assault. Information for his attorney was not immediately known.

Evans, an alleged gang member police say tried shooting at rivals, is accused gunning down Enriqueta Rivera; the 71-year-old was struck in the back by a bullet that was not intended for her. A second victim, a 34-year-old Bronx woman, was hit in the arm in front of a flower shop on the sidewalk.

Members of Rivera's family gathered outside the precinct Monday night where Evans was escorted out. Enraged, they screamed out, calling him a murderer.

"She was a beautiful person inside and out. She was always happy, she wanted everyone to be together," her daughter, Neliza Abad Rivera, said.

"A 71-year-old woman was walking on the sidewalk with her shopping cart when she was shot one time in her heart by a bullet that was meant for another, meant for a rival gang member,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said at a press conference Monday.

Evans, Kenny revealed, was found that morning hiding out with a relative in Mount Vernon.

"Everyone else pays except the target and it has to stop. There has to be a better way," Rivera said. "Justice will be served for my mother. Everyone will know her name: Enriquetta Rivera Melendez."

The two women joined two other innocent bystanders shot in three separate incidents last week, all within a mile of each other. Detectives believe gang members were also behind a shooting on Tuesday that hit an 8-year-old boy.

“We have to address the underlying issues of why young adults are engaging in crews anyway, why we have these ongoing beefs and turf wars fighting over streets that don’t belong to us and they have access to guns," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson.

Police say a stray bullet struck and killed a grandmother in the Bronx who was standing on a curb waiting to cross the street. News 4's Ida Siegal reports.
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