A 66-year-old Bronx man has been indicted on murder, manslaughter and other charges for allegedly gunning down a beloved City Island construction worker, who was also a "hard-working mother," in a fit of jealous rage earlier this month, the prosecutors said Friday.
The deadly April 14 shooting at 636 City Island Avenue, where the 52-year-old victim, Lizbeth Mass, worked, was captured on surveillance video, officials said.
According to the investigation, defendant Jose Reyes, of East 150th Street, worked as a handyman in the area and knew Mass, who helped direct traffic for a construction company in the area. Investigators say Reyes often came by the site on his bicycle and Mass always had a friendly smile and chat for him when he did.
The day of the shooting, he brought her a sandwich and talked to her, cops say. He left after that discussion. Prosecutors say Reyes became enraged when he saw Mass' boyfriend at the site and realized she was in a relationship. He allegedly came back later, speeding on his bicycle, with a gun, according to prosecutors.
Mass' boyfriend saw Reyes on his bicycle, not knowing he allegedly had a weapon but concerned for his girlfriend's welfare, prosecutors said. The boyfriend followed Reyes in his car and saw him allegedly shoot Mass three times with a revolver.
He then ran over Reyes with his car, prosecutors say, and he and others restrained Reyes until police arrived at the scene. Mass was pronounced dead at a hospital about an hour after the shooting.
In addition to the murder and manslaughter charges, Reyes is accused of two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. NYPD Chief of Detective James Essig told the Daily News that the 44-magnum Smith & Wesson used in Mass' killing was reported stolen from a home in the area.
"The defendant allegedly shot the victim multiple times during a fit of jealousy. The senseless incident happened in broad daylight in a quiet neighborhood and was captured on surveillance video," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement. "We will seek justice for the victim, who was a hard-working mother.”
Local City Island residents describe Mass as a "friendly face" who always waved to cars and passersby and had kind words for motorists as they waited in traffic. Those residents said she was "sort of like the mayor of City Island," police said, and at this point, "as far as we can discern, she's just a friendly person."
In a statement following the shooting, Northeast Remsco Construction said they were "shocked and saddened to learn that one of our employees on our City Island project has been the victim of a violent crime. At this time, we are still receiving information and are working to provide support to those impacted."
Information on a possible attorney for Reyes was not immediately known.