Queens man faces life in prison for murder of his accomplice during Ozone Park shootout: DA

A Springfield Gardens man was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on murder charges after he allegedly gunned down his partner in crime during an Ozone Park shootout in June. (File photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

A Springfield Gardens man was indicted by a Queens grand jury for murder and other crimes for allegedly gunning down his own accomplice instead of his intended target during an Ozone Park shootout in June, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Richard Dixon, 32, of 141st Avenue, was arraigned Jan. 27 before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder on an eight-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

According to the charges, at approximately 5 a.m. on June 19, Dixon and his associate, Raymond Francis, approached Kenardo Kelly and Dwayne Whyte as they sat in their vehicles on Cross Bay Boulevard near Pitkin Avenue in Ozone Park. Security camera video footage shows Dixon wearing a mask covering his lower face and carrying an assault rifle-type weapon, and his associate, Francis, carrying a handgun.

The two men approached Kelly’s vehicle from different angles and Dixon fired several shots at Kelly, striking him and his car. At that time, Whyte fired several shots from his vehicle at Dixon, who pivoted and returned fire. At least one of Dixon’s shots hit Francis, his accomplice, according to the charges.

Emergency responders found the 38-year-old Francis, of Union Street in Brownsville, Brooklyn, collapsed in the parking lot, laying on top of his pistol. EMS rushed him to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

Kelly, 33, was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for treatment of gunshots to his face and upper back and a broken jaw. The 29-year-old Whyte, of Bridgeport, Conn., was taken by private means to Kings County Hospital for treatment for gunshot wounds to his leg. Dixon later sought treatment at a Nassau County hospital for multiple gunshots, including to the leg, groin, buttocks and knee.

The nature of his wounds helped identify him as a suspect in the Ozone Park shooting. Security camera video footage shows Dixon drove his wife’s vehicle from their residence on the day of the incident. The vehicle was spotted driving away from the scene of the shooting.

Dixon was taken into custody by detectives from the Queens Homicide Squad and the 106th Precinct Detective Squad and booked at the station house in Ozone Park on Thursday, Jan. 26.

“As alleged, this is yet another example of the brazen lawlessness inherent in illegal gun use,” Katz said. “We need to do everything we can, on the streets and in the courts, to eradicate the plague of gun violence from society.”

Justice Holder remanded Dixon and ordered him to return to court on March 1. If convicted, Dixon faces up to 25 years to life in prison.