Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Waturi Johnson, 51, has been indicted by a Queens County grand jury and arraigned in Supreme Court on murder charges and other crimes for allegedly shooting a young man in front of a car service on October 4, 2021, in Far Rockaway, Queens.

District Attorney Katz said, “The defendant is accused of using a gun to end the life of a young father of three. This is yet another reminder how senseless gun violence is causing heart-wrenching loss in our communities. On the run since this inexcusable killing, the defendant is now in custody and facing very  serious charges.”

Johnson, of Beach 30th Street in Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens, was arraigned today before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder on an indictment charging him with murder in the second degree and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Justice Holder ordered the defendant to return on January 20, 2022. If convicted, Johnson faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.

According to the charges, at approximately 1:10 p.m. on October 4, 2021, the defendant was observed on surveillance video having a brief conversation with 29-year-old Uriah Richardson outside a car service business near Mott Avenue and Beach 22nd Street. The defendant dropped a plastic bag and allegedly pulled out a gun, which he then pointed and fired several times in the victim’s direction. The victim ran away from the defendant across Beach 22nd Street and collapsed moments later in front of a nearby subway station. The defendant allegedly put the gun into his back pocket, picked up the plastic bag he had been carrying, and walked in the opposite direction.

DA Katz said Mr. Richardson was taken to a nearby hospital with gunshot wounds to his shoulder and chest. The victim died from the injuries.

Continuing, police officers from the 101st Precinct identified the defendant using still images from surveillance video. Johnson was apprehended last week.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Michael Kelly of the 101st Precinct Detective Squad.

Assistant District Attorney Courtney Charles, of the DA’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, and 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.

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