The Ridgewood man convicted last month of murder in the 2006 shooting of two men outside a controversial Woodside nightclub was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Friday, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Victor Gavalo, 26, was convicted Jan. 16 after a week−long trial of killing one man and critically wounding another outside the now−closed Club Phenomenon at 62−05 30th Ave.
“The defendant, having been convicted of the cold blooded shooting of two young men as they sat defenseless inside a parked car, has forfeited his right to live in society,” Brown said. “The lengthy prison term imposed today is right and just.”
Around 4 a.m. on Oct. 1, 2006, Gavalo got out of a minivan parked in front of the nightclub and walked in front of a Honda parked outside of 62−43 30th Ave. He began shooting into the front windshield and passenger−side window, hitting passenger Ernesto Salgado, 22, of Sunnyside, at least once in the chest, killing him, and critically wounding the driver, 24−year−old Tony Morales, before fleeing in the minivan.
The victims had just left the Fantasia nightclub, located in the same building as Club Phenomenon.
Salgado was the third man killed outside the club in three years and his murder added to public outcry over the club. The other victims were Francisco Rosa, 32, an off−duty state court officer who was fatally shot May 23, 2004, while moonlighting as a security guard, and David Garcia, 23, who was gunned down Nov. 22, 2003.
The club was permanently closed in December 2006 after a five−month undercover police operation revealed extensive prostitution and illegal drug sales at the establishment, police said. The DA’s office began a “Bawdy House” eviction proceeding in landlord and tenant court immediately after the drug bust.
Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jwalsh@tim
©2009 Community News Group
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