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Corona man gets 15 years for killing a Jackson Heights mother of three with random shot: DA

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Corona resident Issam Elabbar was sentenced to 15 years in prison for firing the random shot that killed a Jackson Heights mother of three inside her third-floor apartment in Jackson Heights. (QNS file photo)

Corona resident Issam Elabbar on Friday, March 25, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for firing an illegal gun in the middle of the night that killed a Jackson Heights mother of three children in September 2020, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Elabbar, 32, of 41st Avenue in Corona, pleaded guilty in December to manslaughter in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise.

According to court records, shortly before 1 a.m. on Sept. 30, 2020, Elabbar was in the roadway on 34th Avenue near 92nd Street when he fired a single shot over his shoulder. At the time, Bertha Arriaga, was standing near her third-story apartment’s bedroom window. The bullet ripped through the window and pierced the victim’s carotid artery in her neck.

The 43-year-old married mother of three fell to the floor bleeding profusely from the singly gunshot wound.

As she gasped for air, the victim’s then-14-year-old son heard the noise, walked into the bedroom, turned on the light and saw his mother in a pool of blood. Arriaga’s husband Javier heard his son shouting and performed CPR on his wife in an effort to save her life, but the injury was fatal, according to court records.

Jackson Heights residents held a candlelight vigil for the married mother of three from Mexico. (Photo by Jim Rockaway)

“The victim of this senseless crime was in her home, a place where one would expect to be safe from harm,” Katz said. “Tragically, the woman’s oldest son discovered his mother gasping for air and bleeding to death. In pleading guilty, the defendant has admitted to firing randomly without regard for human life. He has now been sentenced by the court for his criminal actions.”

Justice Aloise sentenced Elabbar to 15 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post-release supervision.

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