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Third person arrested in stray bullet killing of mother in Woodside

Photo via Getty Images

A third person was arrested and is in custody in connection with the stray bullet killing of Gudelia Vallinas, a mother of two, in Woodside in March.

Benaiah Reid, 19, was arrested and faces several charges, including murder and criminal possession of a weapon, in an alleged connection with the March 12 shooting at Woodside Houses, according to authorities.

Reid was arrested in Florida in April by the U.S. Marshals, according to CBS News, and is now in Queens.

Police did not say what Reid’s role was in the incident.

Two other people have been arrested and charged in connection to the shooting. Dajuan Williams, 19, was arrested and charged by Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz with murder in the second degree and a weapons charge last month.

Williams, who lives in Woodside, was arraigned last month before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael B. Aloise. He is due back in court in May, and if convicted, faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.

Alexander Acevedo, 25, was also charged with criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment. Acevedo, who lives in Astoria, was arraigned last month before Queens Supreme Court Justice Stephen Knopf. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

At around 8:15 p.m. on March 12, police officers from the 114th Precinct got a call about shots fired, police said.

Video of the incident showed two individuals firing shots west on Broadway before running away.

According to Katz, Williams was allegedly aiming to shoot at Acevedo, a rival gang member, when a stray bullet hit Vallinas instead on the night of March 12. Williams and Acevedo allegedly got off at least five shots, Katz said.

Police arrived at the scene on March 12 and found Vallinas unconscious and unresponsive with a gunshot wound to her head, according to police. She was then taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Vallinas, who immigrated from Mexico, was a mother of a 9-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son. The killing devastated Vallinas’ family and community members, who have called for an end to gun violence.

Local elected officials also condemned the recent surge of gun violence in western Queens, calling on the city to make streets safer by expanding crisis management systems and funding the Cure Violence model.

“We know neighborhood-based solutions lead to a decrease in gun and gang violence,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said during a press conference in March. “However, the system is underfunded, which leaves our communities vulnerable.”

The Cure Violence program was expanded to the 114th Precinct in western Queens in March.

The investigation is ongoing.

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