Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Rodolfo Lopez-Portillo, 47, has been charged with murder and other crimes for the death of a 60-year-old pawn shop owner. The defendant allegedly struck the victim multiple times with a blunt object at a Jamaica Avenue pawn shop business in March 2022.

District Attorney Katz said, “As alleged, the defendant perpetrated a shocking act of violence – mercilessly beating a pawn store owner to death with a blunt object during a broad daylight robbery. Brutal lawlessness affecting our local business owners will never go unanswered. The defendant is now in custody and will be held to account for this horrific crime.”

Lopez-Portillo, of Jamaica Avenue in Hollis, Queens, was arraigned today before Queens Criminal Court Judge Jessica Earle-Gargan on a five-count complaint charging him with two counts of murder in the second degree, robbery in the first degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Judge Earle-Gargan set the defendant’s return date for May 20, 2022. Lopez-Portillo faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison, if convicted.

According to the charges, on March 28, 2022, at approximately 12:30 p.m., the defendant entered Global Pawn Shop on Jamaica Avenue and confronted store owner Arasb Shoughi. The defendant allegedly wielded what appeared to be a metal object and struck the 60-year-old victim on the head multiple times with that object. Defendant Lopez-Portillo allegedly removed a ring and necklace from Mr. Shoughi and then stole the man’s cell phone and other items from the store before fleeing the scene.

Mr. Shoughi succumbed to his injuries on April 17, 2022.

The defendant was apprehended by police on May 5, 2022 in Maryland and extradited to New York yesterday evening.

The investigation was conducted by Detectives Derek Webber and James Petruzzi of the New York City Police Department’s 103rd Precinct.

Assistant District Attorney John Esposito of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter J. McCormack III and John Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs, Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.


**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.