69-year-old man killed in alleged anti-gay attack

Photos courtesy of Alba Orozco


Updated Wednesday, September 18

Alba Orozco didn’t know that “see you soon” would be the last words she would hear from her husband.

On Monday, Alba and her husband of 15 years, Ever Orozco, arrived for her routine doctor’s visit on 90th Street in Elmhurst. As Ever attempted to park their car, Alba got out and headed inside.

Minutes later she heard people screaming for help but thought nothing of it until her doctor, who had rushed out to aid, returned to tell her someone had killed her husband.

“I took it very calmly, there was nothing left to do,” said Alba, who said her husband had been stabbed seven times. “The doctor said he died there.”

Steven Torres, 22, is accused of fatally stabbing 69-year-old Ever after the two got into an altercation at 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, near the No. 7 subway station. Torres allegedly made anti-gay statements towards the victim, according to police.

Colombian-born Orozco was taken to Elmhurst General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“He was simply marvelous,” said Alba. “He was a happy man, he was just a really happy person.

This has been a terrible blow, my life has completely changed. You have to wait, this isn’t easy.

It takes time, but what I do know is that things are not the same anymore.”

Plain-clothes officers chased after the suspect and apprehended him at 84th Street and Roosevelt Avenue.

Torres has been charged with second degree murder and criminal possession of weapon, said police.

Cops initially charged Torres with murder as a hate crime, but prosecutors decided to omit that charge.

At his arraignment, Torres was ordered held without bail. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

At the time of his arrest, authorities also charged him with assault as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in connection to a September 12 stabbing on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

During that incident, Torres allegedly attacked a 47-year-old male, because he reportedly thought the victim was coming onto him.

According to Councilmember Daniel Dromm, who has been in contact with the 115th Precinct about the incident, Torres told cops that Orozco blew kisses at him and made other sexual advances.

“The use of a gay panic defense, whether real or imagined, is no excuse for violently attacking someone on the streets,” said Dromm. “We need to make clear that this type of violence will not be tolerated. And it shouldn’t matter whether you are gay or straight, no one deserves to be killed in a manner like this.”

The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP), which said the stabbing marks the third related anti-LGBT homicide in New York City so far this year, is organizing a Community Safety Night on Friday, September 20 in Jackson Heights. For more information, visit the AVP’s Facebook page.