Teen indicted in diplomat’s wife’s shooting

Teen indicted in diplomat’s wife’s shooting
Photo by Rebecca Henely
By Rebecca Henely

A young Jamaica man who allegedly fired at some other teenagers earlier this year on a block not far from Long Island City High School and hit the wife of a Sudanese diplomat while her children were standing by has been indicted on attempted murder, the Queens district attorney’s office said.

Miguel Mata, 19, of 90th Avenue and 139th Street, was arraigned last Thursday in front of Queens Supreme Court Judge Fernando Camacho, the DA said. His charges include second-degree attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment, assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, the DA said.

The crimes could land him in prison for up to 25 years if he is found guilty, the DA said.

Mata’s alleged victim was 31-year-old Mawahib Elbahi, who was shot in the shoulder in front of her apartment on 31st Drive near 21st Street April 20, the DA said. Mata is accused of firing his gun at a group of teenagers and hitting Elbahi, who was holding her infant son and was next to her 3-year-old daughter, the DA said. The incident occurred around 7:25 p.m., the DA said. After being wounded, Elbahi was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center, at 79-01 Broadway.

District Attorney Richard Brown called the shooting a “glaring example of mindless gun-related violence.”

“This was a shocking incident in which a woman with an infant in her arms and a toddler by her side was almost killed outside her home,” Brown said. “Fortunately, she survived her terrifying ordeal.”

The incident occurred a few blocks from Long Island City High School, at 14-30 Broadway.

Mata was arrested the same day and since then has been held on a $100,000 bail, the DA said. He was ordered to return to court Sept. 17, the DA said.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria), who represents the district where the shooting occurred, recently introduced a package of bills to strengthen the state’s gun control laws. His office said shootings have increased citywide by 12 percent from the start of 2012 through early July compared to the same time last year.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4564.

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