On Thursday, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced indictments by a Queens County grand jury against 28 individuals believed to be involved in violent gang activity.
The individuals are all allegedly involved in gang factions within the Queensbridge Houses and Ravenswood Houses public housing developments in Astoria and Long Island City.
The indictment includes various charges of murder, attempted murder, assault, attempted assault, criminal possession of a weapon among a slew of other crimes. All those involved have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder and possession of firearms.
“Put every gang member in Queens on notice: If you are committing havoc on our streets and putting the public in harm’s way, we are going to find you, we are going to prosecute you,” Katz said.
Katz said these two gangs have been warring over geographical power, shooting each other — sometimes in broad daylight — with innocent bystanders nearby.
Two of the defendants in this 141-count indictment are accused of carrying out the brazen daylight killing of a school teacher named George Rosa.
Rosa, 53, was walking his dog near the Queensbridge Houses when he was struck by a stray bullet in a standoff between members of the Ravenswood and Queensbridge gangs, according to the charges.
“We are doing all we can to make sure our communities are safe this summer and the streets our kids play on are safe,” Katz said.
According to the indictment, the defendants are alleged members or associates of three large rival gangs: Jet Blue and Makk Ballers in Queensbridge Houses and Money the Motivation/Obligated to Money (MTM/OTM) in the Ravenswood Houses.
“Guns seem to be everywhere today, the issue of guns and gun-related violence seems insurmountable, but that’s only to some,” Katz said. “Today we are all here to assure the community that block by block, as long as it takes, we will not allow gun violence and gangs to become the norm. Not here in Queens County.”
During the press conference, Katz also mentioned her office has partnered with community organizations and civic leaders to provide recreational activities and mentorship opportunities for young people to alleviate youth gun violence.