Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that an alleged gang member has been charged with murder and other crimes in the death of a 53-year-old man who was hit by a stray bullet as he walked his dog in broad daylight on July 25, 2020. The defendant is accused of firing the shot during an on-going dispute with rival gang members in the vicinity of the Queensbridge Houses.

District Attorney Katz said, “Tragically, a man is dead because he took his dog for a walk in his neighborhood, struck by a bullet intended for someone else. Every resident of every community deserves to be safe from the reckless gang violence that is fueled by access to guns.”

The 17-year-old defendant, whose name is being withheld because of his age, was arraigned last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Joanne Watters on a complaint charging him with murder in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and reckless endangerment in the first degree. Judge Watters remanded the defendant and set the return date for today. If convicted, the defendant faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

District Attorney Katz said that at approximately 11:20 a.m. on July 25, 2020, George Rosa was out walking his dog in his Long Island City neighborhood, near the intersection of 22st Street and 40th Avenue. He heard a popping sound and suddenly realized that he was bleeding from his stomach. The 53-year-old man had been shot once in the abdomen. The victim was rushed to a nearby hospital. Despite at least one surgery and fighting for 31 days to live, Mr. Rosa died Tuesday, August 26 as a result of the gunshot wound.

According to the charges, the defendant and an accomplice who has not yet been apprehended were trying to shoot an intended target, but missed and the stray bullet struck Mr. Rosa instead.

As outlined in the complaint, the defendant was apprehended on Tuesday following another shooting. The defendant, along with the same accomplice, is accused of firing a gun near 40th Avenue and 10th Street, in Long Island City. No one is believed to have been injured in that shooting.

The investigation was conducted by Police Officer Scott Sohn of the New York City Police Department’s 114th Precinct Detective Squad, under the supervision of Lt. Brian Hillmann, commanding officer. Also assisting in the investigation was Detective Andrew Alloro, of the Queens North Homicide Squad, under the supervision of Lieutenant Timothy Thomson, Commanding Officer, all under the supervision of Queens North Detective Borough Commanding Officer, Deputy Chief Julie Morrill, and the overall supervision of Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison.
Assistant District Attorney Graham Amodeo, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief Michelle Goldstein, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Investigations Gerard Brave.
Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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