Police announced Wednesday night that they had made a second arrest in the Saturday murder of a 39-year-old woman outside her home in the Pomonok Houses in Fresh Meadows in a retaliatory shooting.
Lerome Robinson, 21, was arrested Wednesday following the capture of Malik Wallace, 20, Sunday. The two Pomonok Houses residents were charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon, in connection with a double shooting that left a mother dead and her 18-year-old son badly wounded. They each face up to 50 years in prison if convicted of the crimes.
The attack was described by police as payback for an earlier incident and not targeted at the murder victim — 39-year-old Christina Coleman — or her 18-year-old son Hassan Gil. Authorities believe the shooting was intended for her other son, 22-year-old Mark Coleman, who allegedly participated in a shooting earlier Saturday and is still being sought by police.
Christina Coleman and Gil were both shot at about 5:45 p.m. Saturday while they sat in her 2006 light blue Volkswagen in front of her home in at 155-26 Jewel Ave. in the Pomonok Houses, police said.
Immediately after the shooting, Gil reported the crime to officers at Police Service Area 9 a few buildings away at 155-09 Jewel Ave., according to police. Coleman and Gil were taken to New York Hospital Queens, where Coleman was declared dead on arrival from a gunshot to the head and later that day Gil, who suffered a gunshot wound to the chest, was listed in stable condition, police said.
The deadly assault followed an earlier shooting Saturday morning at 67-18 Parsons Blvd., which wounded two suspected drug dealers, Breaking News Network said. It was probably a case of mistaken identity as sources told the New York Post that the shooters were gunning for Mark Coleman, who also lives in Pomonok and has a tattoo of his mother’s name on his neck.
Wallace was arraigned and ordered held without bail Monday and was scheduled to return to court July 18, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
“In another unfortunate example of the senseless gun violence that more and more seems to permeate our society, the defendant and another unapprehended individual are accused of walking up to the vehicle on either side and then opening fire at the two defenseless occupants, fatally striking one victim in the head and the other in the chest,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday before Robinson was arrested. “The charges will be vigorously prosecuted.”
Neighbor Gee Johnson, who lives in the Pomonok Houses, sat on a bench outside her Jewel Avenue home Tuesday morning. She said she was shocked when she saw a photograph of Christina Coleman, whom she knew as “C.C.,” on the wall in her building and found out she had been killed.
Police had stopped by Johnson’s house shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday to ask if she had heard a sound “like firecrackers,” which she said she had noticed at about 5:30 p.m., but had chalked up to Independence Day revelry.
“She wasn’t a problem in the neighborhood. She’s not someone who sits on the bench and talks to people, she’s just someone who passes in and out. She’s not someone who hangs out. I couldn’t believe it was her. That hurt me,” she said. “She was a beautiful girl, she was a very pretty girl. She had a face where she could have been a model. I don’t understand how it could be her. That makes no sense.”
Now Christina Coleman, who a neighbor said worked as a nurse at Queens Hospital Center, is commemorated by a small, makeshift memorial of nine tall candles encircling a telephone pole wrapped with smiling photographs and fake flowers in front of her building.
On Tuesday morning, the words “R.I.P. ALL BRIPz HARDBACKz” were sprayed in fresh red paint on a sidewalk near the murder scene.
Johnson said the neighborhood has gone downhill in recent years.
“We’re just starting the summer. After seeing her face in the lobby, who knows,” she said. “It’s only the beginning of July. What we’re going to see by the end of August, I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2011 Community News Group
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