Crime and Courts

Chief investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.
attorney

NYC Mom, Her Teen Son Arrested in Stabbing Death of Brooklyn 17-Year-Old

Authorities have not speculated about a possible motive

What to Know

  • Rohan Burke, 17, was stabbed to death in the middle of the afternoon in Brooklyn on Monday, authorities say
  • His parents say he wanted to be a prosecutor when he grew up and was never the type to provoke a fight; they tell News 4 they're devastated
  • Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS

A 38-year-old Bronx woman and her teenage son have been arrested in connection with the brazen stabbing death of a 17-year-old Brooklyn boy in broad daylight earlier this week, authorities said Wednesday.

Barbara Galloza is charged with tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. Police believe she witnessed a Monday confrontation with her own son and Rohan Burke -- and saw Burke stabbed to death in the street. Her son was taken into custody late Tuesday for questioning and charged hours later with murder. It wasn't clear if he or his mother had an attorney.

Burke's parents say their son was a respectful kid who wanted to be a prosecutor when he grew up. And they shared a gut-wrenching account of his final moments as they say detectives told it to them. 

According to Burke's parents, two young males and a girl walked up to their son on Avenue M and East 17th Street in Midwood around 4 p.m. Monday. One of the males stabbed Burke, then passed the knife to the girl, some of which played out on surveillance video, the parents said they were told. 

A worker at a nearby pizza shop heard the screams and ran out to try to help Burke. He was the one who called 911.

It wasn't clear how many times Burke was stabbed. 

Burke's family -- and his neighbors -- are heartbroken. All say the boy wasn't the least bit argumentative and would never provoke a fight. They can't fathom why he would have been attacked -- and cops say a motive remains unclear. 

"Please, if you know who did this or if you are the person, please have a heart and turn yourself in," his tearful mother said. "My son didn’t deserve to die this way. He just turned 17 years old. He was a baby."

"The best part of his life hasn’t even come yet and someone is out there who knows what happened to my son," she added.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

Contact Us