Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Shahid Burton, 21, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of a 29-year-old man, who was gunned down as he walked through the Ravenswood Houses in March 2018. The defendant – on the run since the shooting – was apprehended by transit police after he allegedly slipped through a subway turnstile to avoid paying the fare.

District Attorney Katz said, “This was yet again a senseless shooting in a housing complex where children, adults and senior citizens reside. The defendant, who lived in the neighboring Queensbridge Houses, followed and then shot down the victim on a summer night in 2018. This defendant has now admitted to this horrible crime and will be held accountable by the Court.”

Burton, of Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens, yesterday pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael B. Aloise. The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2022. Justice Aloise indicated that he will sentence 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 chest and torso.

Mr. Moreira was rushed to an area hospital but succumbed to the gunshot wounds.

Burton was being sought in the killing, but was not apprehended until March 28, 2019, said DA Katz. That’s when a transit officer spotted Burton allegedly doubling up with another person to slip through a subway turnstile. Burton was stopped by the officer and at that point it was discovered that he was a suspect in the killing of Mr. Moreira a year earlier.

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

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