Homeless man charged with murder in fatal shooting in South Ozone Park: DA

The Queens district attorney’s office has charged a homeless man with murder after a fatal shooting in South Ozone Park. (QNS file photo)

The homeless man who allegedly shot and killed a woman who had been providing him shelter in her South Ozone Park apartment Monday morning was charged with murder in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Tariek Sykes, 34, was arraigned before Queens Criminal Court Judge Diego Friere on a complaint charging him with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon for allegedly shooting his friend in broad daylight in front of her apartment building, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

According to the charges, at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 1, Sykes was embroiled in an argument with 24-year-old Sydney Lugo in front of her building located at 119-11 109th Ave., when he pulled out a handgun and allegedly fired one time. The victim was struck by a bullet in her arm and chest. EMS responded to the crime scene and rushed the victim to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Police from the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park apprehended Sykes a short while later and recovered a 9mm pistol loaded with one round of ammunition in the chamber and a magazine loaded with two rounds of ammunition. Officers also recovered one shell casing in front of the apartment building.

“Gun violence is an epidemic that has taken the lives of too many of our young people,” Katz said. “As alleged, the defendant senselessly shot the victim over an argument, killing her. Violence is never the answer. The defendant is now in custody and faces justice in our courts.”

Judge Friere ordered the defendant to return to court on Aug. 5. If convicted, Sykes faces up to 25 years to life in prison.