Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Shahid Burton, 21, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of a 29-year-old man in March 2018. The defendant – who was on the run after the homicide – was apprehended by transit police after he allegedly slipped through a subway turnstile to avoid paying the train fare.

District Attorney Katz said, “The sentencing of this defendant does not make up for the senseless loss of life due to gun violence, but it is our hope that the family can find some solace in the resolution of this case and the punishment imposed by the Court.”

Burton, of Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael B. Aloise in November 2021. Justice Aloise today sentenced Burton to 17 years in prison, to be followed by five years’ post release supervision.

According to the charges, on August 26, 2018, around 5:30 a.m., the defendant followed Jelan Moreira as he walked through a courtyard within the Ravenswood Houses complex in Long Island City. Video surveillance of the area showed Burton, along with an unapprehended other, approach the 29-year-old victim from behind. The victim was then shot multiple times in his torso. Mr. Moreira was rushed to an area hospital but succumbed to the gunshot wounds.

Burton was apprehended on March 28, 2019, when a transit officer spotted Burton attempting to slip through a subway turnstile. Burton was stopped by the officer and a check for warrants showed the defendant was a suspect in the killing of Mr. Moreira a year earlier.

Assistant District Attorney Tara DiGregorio, Assistant Deputy Bureau Chief of the District Attorney’s Human Trafficking Bureau and formerly with the Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter McCormack III and John Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs of the Homicide Bureau, Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Crimes Daniel A. Saunders.

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