Far Rockaway man indicted on murder charges in fatal shooting of father of three

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A Far Rockaway man was indicted by a Queens grand jury on murder charges and other crimes for allegedly gunning down a father of three last month, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Waturi Johnson, 51, of Beach 30th Street, was arraigned Monday, Nov. 29, before Queens Supreme Court Justice on an indictment charging him with murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon.

According to the charges, at 1:10 p.m. on Oct. 4, Johnson was seen on surveillance video having a brief conversation with 29-year-old Uriah Richardson of Brooklyn outside a car service business near Mott Avenue and Beach 22nd Street in Far Rockaway. Johnson dropped a plastic bag and allegedly pulled out a gun which he then pointed and fired several times in the victim’s direction. Richardson ran away from the defendant across Beach 22nd Street and collapsed moments later in front of a nearby subway station. Johnson allegedly put the gun into his back pocket, picked up the plastic bag he had been carrying and walked in the opposite direction.

Katz said Richardson was taken to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital with gunshot wounds to his shoulder and chest. He died from his injuries.

Police from the 101st Precinct identified Johnson using still images from the surveillance video. He was taken into custody on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

“The defendant is accused of using a gun to end the life of a young father of three,” Katz said. “This is yet another reminder how senseless gun violence is causing heart-wrenching loss in our communities. On the run since this inexcusable killing, the defendant is now in custody and facing very serious charges.”

Justice Holder ordered Johnson to return to court on Jan. 20. If convicted, Johnson faces up to 25 years to life in prison.