What to Know
- A man died after he was shot in the head on a subway platform in Queens, the NYPD said
- The man was shot on the southbound 7 train platform at the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue subway station around 12:45 p.m.
- Police have arrested one suspect, believed to be a member of the MS-13 gang
A suspected member of the violent MS-13 gang is in police custody, accused of shooting and killing a rival gang member on a subway platform in Queens Sunday, police said.
Police said an argument between two groups, suspected to be rival gangs, started on a 7 train moving toward Manhattan Sunday afternoon. It turned physical and spilled out onto the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue platform.
Cellphone video of the shooting shows three men fighting on the ground of the elevated platform as the train is stopped with doors open. A woman is screaming as they struggle, then at least six shots are heard going off.
The victim, Abel Moso, was killed. NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said Monday police believe Moso was shot several times in the face, causing his death.
Police took one man, later identified as 26-year-old Ramiro Gutierrez into custody. They've released photos of two more men they want to speak to. Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at nypdcrimestoppers.com.
Police said Gutierrez is charged with second-degree murder, gang assault and criminal possession of a weapon.
Moso's mother, Claudia Mossi, cried as she spoke to reporters Monday night, saying in Spanish she doesn't think she will ever get over the agony she is living in. The last words she said to her son Sunday were, "Take care of yourself." He was 20 years old.
The 26-year-old Gutierrez and two other suspected MS-13 members were charged in December in a plot to steal $80,000 from a Queens home. The case is pending. Gutierrez's lawyer in that case said he couldn't comment.
An ICE spokesperson said that Gutierrez is a Salvadoran national who was in the country illegally; ICE has lodged a detainer to be contacted before he's released from local NYPD custody.
The ICE official said it didn't put a detainer on Gutierrez last December because he wasn't held in jail for a long enough period of time to be alerted. ICE said because New York City is a sanctuary city, it's city policy not to alert immigration authorities unless someone has been convicted of a serious crime.
Trains bypassed the station in both directions for hours Sunday as police investigated, the MTA said. Anxiety among commuters after the shooting continued into the Monday rush.
"There's not enough security," said Quad Khan. "Today I saw two police officers, but it's just today."
"There's no consequences anymore," said Luis Ramos. "They feel like they can get away with these crimes. So they're not thinking straight."
Transit crime has been on the rise, numbers show -- up 7.8 percent compared to the same time last year, and up 3 percent last year compared to the year before.
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But when it comes to the total number of crimes, it's still a small fraction of the 17,000 crimes in 1990, when graffiti-riddled trains still rumbled through the system.
The NYPD said Monday the system is safe, and most crimes involve stolen smartphones. And police brass said they won't tolerate a surge in violence.
"This is extremely rare, but when you have crime like this, you will have the whole weight of the NYPD bearing down on you," said Shea.
MTA spokesman Max Young said Sunday, “This incident is beyond horrifying. While our system and the city are safer than ever before, we have zero tolerance for any violence on our subways and buses, and the safety of our customers and employees will always be our number one priority.”