Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Joaquin Bullock has been convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping and other crimes in the death of a fellow Far Rockaway resident. The defendant argued with the victim before fatally shooting him in the chest in 2018.

District Attorney Katz said, “Gun violence has taken too many lives in this Borough and this verdict sends a strong message that deadly shootings will never be tolerated in Queens County. We hope that the outcome of this trial provides a sense of justice to the victim’s family.”

Bullock, 35, of Chandler Street in Far Rockway, Queens, was convicted yesterday following a two-week trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth C. Holder of murder in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Justice Holder indicated that he will sentence the defendant on December 5, 2022, at which time he faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

District Attorney Katz said that according to trial testimony, at approximately 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, 2018, the defendant was captured on video surveillance arguing with several males on Beach 25 Street and Brookhaven Avenue.  The defendant then punched two of the men, including the victim, Dion Smith, 28, in the face. The fight ended and the defendant left.

Furthermore, said DA Katz, approximately 30 minutes later, surveillance video showed the defendant return to the scene, grab the victim by the arm and forcibly remove him from the location to a dark alley on Brookhaven Avenue where the defendant shot the victim once in the chest. The victim, who was transported to St. John’s Hospital by acquaintances, later died as a result of his injuries.

Assistant District Attorney Timothy Regan, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Felony Trial Bureau IV, is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Sarah Elardo under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Karen H. Rankin, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for the Supreme Court Trial Division Pishoy B. Yacoub.