Violence marks first summer weekend in Queens

Violence marks first summer weekend in Queens
Photo by Ken Maldonado
By Joe Anuta

Southeast Queens cops collared a murder suspect Monday following a weekend of violence, the NYPD said, while a woman was slashed in the throat early Tuesday in Queens Village.

Police arrested 17-year-old Andrew Benitez and charged him with fatally stabbing another teen just a year older in Jamaica Saturday, according to the NYPD.

Benitez of South Jamaica is charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, police said.

The slaying occurred at about 10:30 p.m., according to police, who were called to Jamaica near the corner of 150th Street and 89th Avenue and found 18-year-old Aaron Jefferson stabbed in the back.

The Rosedale resident was taken to Jamaica Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead.

Days later, friends and family had set up a memorial to the slain teenager, with heartfelt messages scrawled on posters hung above a group of candles.

Hours after the first murder, police responded to another homicide in St. Albans.

At about 1 a.m. Saturday, cops received a report of shots fired at the corner of Farmers Boulevard and Jordan Avenue.

When they arrived, officers discovered 26-year-old Donte Smith, who lives nearby, with a single gunshot wound to the chest, the NYPD said.

EMS rushed Smith to Queens Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Smith, too, was memorialized by friends and family who remembered him in fond farewells written near the scene of the crime.

The weekend murders were bookended by a separate series of grisly events.

Last Friday at about 9:30 p.m., officers responded to a South Ozone Park street corner and found a woman’s decomposed body.

The Office of the Medical Examiner later collected the body from the corner of South Conduit Avenue and the Van Wyck Expressway and will determine the cause of death, the NYPD said.

Police were asking for the public’s help in identifying the woman, who has a green dragon or lizard tattoo on her upper left chest area and the words “Daddy Rock” on her right thigh.

Monday a 27-year-old man was fatally shot in Corona, according to police, and early Tuesday morning, a Queens Village woman was stabbed several times in the throat while she was coming home from work, according to a report in the New York Post.

As the 36-year-old woman was standing not far from her car parked near the corner of 221st Street and 106th Avenue at about 4:45 a.m., she was approached by a man in a black hoodie who stabbed her several times in the neck before fleeing empty-handed, according to the Post.

She was taken to North Shore University Hospital in critical condition, the newspaper said.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4566.