By Jeremy Walsh
Two people were in custody after a drug-related shooting in the Queensbridge Houses left one man dead and two others wounded, authorities said.
Magin Rifas, 31, and Christina Rosario, 23, both of Brooklyn, were arrested on suspicion of second-degree murder, a source close to the investigation said. They were awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court Friday on charges of second-degree murder, attempted burglary, attempted robbery and weapons possession, the Queens district attorney’s office said.
If convicted, they face up to 25 years to life in prison, the DA’s office said.
Police were still searching for a third suspect, believed to be a Hispanic man between 26 and 30 years old, the source said.
Around midnight Thursday, gunfire rang out on the fifth floor of 41-17 Vernon Blvd. after a drug deal went bad, the source said.
Medics took three men to Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. Michael Martin, 32, of the upstate hamlet Pine Bush, was pronounced dead with a gunshot wound to the chest. Two 21-year-old men, one shot in the arm and the other shot in the chest and arm, were reported to be in stable condition, police said.
Two neighbors at the building Thursday morning said the people involved in the shooting had moved in recently and were not well-known among the residents.
Another man, William Boyd, said he was shocked by the incident.
“It’s a nice building,” he said. “I just came home and there were police everywhere.”
The murder has had an additional fallout for the Queensbridge community. A Cops and Kids basketball tournament put on by City Councilman Peter Vallone’s (D-Astoria) office and the local housing police that was scheduled for the upcoming week has been canceled by the NYPD because of the investigation.
Martin’s death was the third homicide of 2010 in the 114th Precinct, which had a total of four homicides in all of 2009. Overall major crimes were down 2 percent for the year as of March 31.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4564.