Updated: City’s first murder victim shot to death in South Jamaica: NYPD

Julio Mora. Photo courtesy Natasha Gibson
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Authorities were looking for a 26-year-old man in connection with the death of a Richmond Hill resident who was shot to death in a South Jamaica house during the city’s first murder of the year, police said.

Officers responded to a house on 113th Avenue between Sutphin Boulevard and 155th Street early New Year’s Day and found Julio Mora, 22, who had been in a physical altercation and was shot, a spokeswoman for the NYPD said.

Emergency responders were called at about 1:15 a.m. and pronounced Mora dead at the scene.

Police initially said Mora had been stabbed, but the city’s medical examiner determined the 22-year-old ‘s cause of death was a gunshot wound, according to cops.

On Thursday afternoon, police said 26-year-old Sheldon Smith was being sought by the NYPD in connection with Mora’s death. A spokeswoman for the NYPD would not specify if he was a suspect in the murder.

Relatives said Mora lost his life exactly 19 years after his mother died unexpectedly.

“It was the same day - January 1st,” said Mora’s grandfather, Carmelo Sanchez, who raised Mora and his older sister with his wife in Richmond Hill. “It hit home hard.”

Sanchez said Mora’s mother, Rosalina LaSalle, died of a heart attack at age 24.

Mora’s sister, Natasha Gibson, said that after their mother’s death she and her brother became very close, and he was living with her, her husband and her two sons, ages 8 and 6, at the time he was killed.

“He went to school. He did his thing, and he was a pretty good boy,” Sanchez said.

Mora graduated from John Bowne High School several years ago and had been doing odd jobs but most recently worked as a promoter for Smoke Liqueur, a pre-made cocktail made with vodka, his sister said.

Gibson said the family spent Christmas together with their grandparents.

“[Mora] was laughing and just joking around and just being himself,” she said.

She spoke to him the following day, Dec. 26, and found out later that Mora had attended a house party at the South Jamaica house New Year’s Eve.

“A lot of people were at this party,” she said. “He had gotten into an altercation with an older man, who left, and supposedly he came back.”

One neighbor on 113th Avenue, who said young men often hung out in front of the home, said he was home early New Year’s Day when the murder took place.

“I heard something before I went to bed, but I thought it was fireworks,” he said, while sweeping snow from his driveway Thursday morning,

Gibson said her family is looking for more answers about how Mora died.

“We want [a suspect] to be caught but more so we want to know what happened,” she said.

Gibson said the family was still making funeral arrangements Thursday morning, but the cemetery had already been decided.

“He will be buried in New Jersey with my mother,” she said.

Reach managing editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at by phone at 718-260-4589.

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Reader Feedback

Lori from Wharton Pk says:
Jan. 2, 2014, 2:36 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
It figures that Jamaica would have the first murder of the new year.

The nonsense is already beginning and it is only the 2nd. Time to really begin to clamp down on Jamaica, especially South Jamaica.
Jan. 2, 2014, 7:20 pm
Tiana says:
Its sad when you hear about another killing that took place but it hurts more when it's some one you know rest in peace Julio
Jan. 2, 2014, 8:40 pm
Joel from Richmond Hill says:
Wow. Very tragic. I saw Julio grow up in Richmond Hill. He was a good kid, from agood family, with good intentions. My condolences go out to his family and loved ones. Rest in Paradise Julio
Jan. 2, 2014, 9:59 pm
Kathy Bryant says:
I watch his birth never would I have ever dreamed this Julio you rest n peace your back home with your heavenly father much sadness
Jan. 2, 2014, 10:31 pm
jermsz says:
R.I.p. Julio
Jan. 2, 2014, 11:59 pm
Shaun from Queens says:
Smh it's a dam shame people can't argue no more . Only cowards kill over a fist fight R.i.P Julio mora aka LO
Jan. 3, 2014, 1:18 am
Leah M. Elton from Atlantic city nj says:
I am in total disbelief. Julito is a good kid.its ashamed that ppl have to be so cowardly. He will be greatly missed. I send my condolences to the other side of the family. I know ur with ur mom now smiling down on all of us. I thank God for the time that he allowed u to be here with us.

Just remember everyone what you do in the dark always comes to light!!! And I am a true believer of what goes around comes around. Who ever u r and wherever you are karma will find when it is time for you to pay for what you have are a pathetic coward and deserve everything that is coming to u! I feel sorry for you.bc karma is coming for you and 10x worse. I trust and believe that you will pay and pay dearly for your actions.

Julito you will always be in our hearts. Always remembered never for gotten. R.I.P. love!
Jan. 3, 2014, 2:45 am
julio mora sr. from atlantic city n.j. says:
I am so hurting as well as the rest of the families who at one point made a connection with but now I will company the rest of the loved ones to burry him
Jan. 3, 2014, 10:37 am
Julissa C. says:
R.I.P Julio My condolences goes out to the family. God Bless ❤
Jan. 3, 2014, 11:12 am
Ecee from Richmond hill says:
My loving nephew who we love so much.. As I write this I can't stop crying thinking of you..Our family aches with so much pain and disbelief..Your life was cut short, your Mom left Tasha and you to us. Now you're gone, papi you will always be in our hearts. New Years hasn't been the same for us, since 1995 when we lost your mom and now loosing you on her anniversary is just so surreal..Our family will stay together through this difficult time. The Lord will hold & keep us in his arms.. We know your with your Mom looking down on us.... WE LOVE YOU & MISS YOU SO MUCH..

Papi you will be missed, Love you always and forever
Titi Ecee
Jan. 3, 2014, 11:49 am
AJ from Brooklyn/WPB, FL says:
Julio was a son, grandson, brother, nephew, friend and cousin... Most of all he was a human being deserving of life... A life cut way too short. As for the coward that did this, justice will be served once he's caught. For Julio... God has promised to remember those who have fallen "asleep" in death. Until then let us remember all the good Julio did in his short life.

Cousin AJ.
Jan. 3, 2014, 12:40 pm
Helen Mena says:
I didn't know you Julio , But I do know your grandfather from our Church , But that doesn't matter , You came from a good family , who believes in Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ ,May our heavenly father place his arms around each one of you and bring you all comfort ,R.I.P. Julio , what a terrible tragedy So sad
Jan. 3, 2014, 1:50 pm
Milta from Lawton ok says:
My sympathy goes to the family who are suffering the tragic death of their love one
Jan. 3, 2014, 4:32 pm
nunyabi from jamaica says:
Innocent until proven guilty....i know him and he is no killer
Jan. 4, 2014, 7:54 pm
aida from richmondhill says:
This is for my angel who is in heaven with his mom my nephew julio this is so unreal I havnt celebrate newyears eve since I lost my sister. Rosie his mom now my julio on the same day of his mom death 1-1-95 I went out for the first time this year now I will neva celebrate newyears again we wil be mourning for a long time our family will neva be the same again and my heart goes out to his sister who now has no mom or brother so please I ask u all to keep prayerin for our family n my niece especially and plz help us get j6stice...julio I love u dearly titi will always carry u in my heart
Jan. 4, 2014, 9:47 pm
Jenny from Jamaica says:
I went to jr high school and high school with him he was a kool person rip (rest in paradise)
Julio he's in a better place now with his mom
Jan. 4, 2014, 11:43 pm
AJ from Brooklyn/WPB, FL says:
To Nunyabi, if he is "innocent until proven guilty" and is "no killer" then why wouldn't he go down to the police precinct and clear his name? If the police were looking for me and I had nothing to hide I'd try to clear my name ASAP. But I guess since you know him you already know the answer to that...
Jan. 4, 2014, 11:49 pm
Steve from Queens says:
This is horrible that animal should be put In a cage
Jan. 5, 2014, 3:17 am
Maggie from Brooklyn says:
This is so unreal, all of this is like a nightmare that we going to wake up and everything is going to disappear, my nephew we love you so much, your mom left us 19 years ago and now you on the same day because of a cowardly act, it just hurts so much you will always be in our heart you will be greatly missed
Jan. 5, 2014, 12:12 pm
C from Queens says:
Free Sheldon....everybody wanna scream out innocent when the person gets r.i.p'd.
Jan. 5, 2014, 3:47 pm
Becky from Queens, RichmondHill says:
My deepest sympathy goes out to my best friends Aida and Margie and there entire family and friends. It's so sad and justice will be served I will be there for guys to fight this to the end I hope they catch this coward taking such a beautiful life. It's not easy to lose some one you love so much. People life is to short for drama . I remember when Julio went to P.S. 90 with my cousin George Castro and David. May you Rest In Paradise. You will be truly be missed. Love Becky, Family and P.S.90 PTA.
Jan. 5, 2014, 10:09 pm
Ruth Ilyas from St. Petersburg , Fl says:
My precious Julito,
My heart is torn today to know that you are no longer with us. I will never forget you, your smile and your lovely soft voice. You were an amazing young man. Always trying to give of your self for others. I Hope that justice is served and that all the families which are affected by this horrible tragedy will take comfort in the fact that the lord will make sure that the person who took your life will be brought to justice and never hurt another human being again.
Rest in peace sweetheart.
Love titi Ruthy
Jan. 6, 2014, 4:34 pm
Lovely libra from Jamaica est says:
So sad to read this story my deepest condolences. Whoever feels free Sheldon should go to jail with him if you can't fight than don't but to go get a gun to kill someone you are evil and foul. Sheldon looks dirty and if he has blood on his hands he need to ask for forgiveness. May the family find peace in God
Jan. 11, 2014, 7:12 pm
Addy from CT says:
There are too Many cowards in this world. They are to afraid of taking a butt whipping so they resort to guns, knives etc. A life was taken too soon from a coward, A coward took a son, a brother, a grandson, a cousin, a uncle, a nephew and a friend away from people who loved him dearly. But I know that justice will be served for my cousin Julio. And when that coward is caught and locked up he will then see how much of a coward he really is..Julio you will be forever missed and never forgotten. I will cherish every memory I have of you. May you sleep in peace papi..I will love you always..
Jan. 17, 2014, 7:37 pm
whit from queens says:
RiP Julio we love & miss you. #bownedays

Sleep in peace Lo.
Jan. 17, 2014, 10:40 pm
blu from jamaica says:
This is what happens when young dudes drink and cant control their liquer.Thats how they end up. DRINK RESPONSIVELY
Jan. 20, 2014, 1:12 pm
itzdaprez from Southside says:
I dont know Julio & my condolences to everyone that lost a son, brother, cousin, nephew or friend. I know Sheldon Brown & he may be a lotta things, but he's far from a coward. The police been trying to pin something on him since he was a lil dude. People grow up and leave B.S in the past, but the devil will always try to jam you up. somebody know who really did it. The police need to get on their job & stop chasing old grudges. RIP Julio. I pray you find justice.
Jan. 22, 2014, 1:09 am
itzdaprez from Southside says:
No disrespect to anyone hurting.
Jan. 22, 2014, 1:12 am
Tiara Marie from Richmond Hill says:
To Blu, "from Jamaica" only ignorant people like you would make a dumb ass comment like that.. No one even mentioned drinking, so you must no something that others don't. Only cowards do things like this. Let's see if you would be singing the same damn song if it were one of your family members. In other words don't make stupid ass comments if you weren't there.
Jan. 24, 2014, 6:16 pm
NG from Queen's says:
Blu- stupid people like you make it no where in life, pray that you or any of your loved ones end up the same.
Itzdaprez- where you there? If you know something say something if not than your comment was pointless. Any person who can just shoot someone and kill them because of a fight is a coward. The article says Sheldon Smith not Brown so maybe Sheldon Brown isn't a coward but Sheldon Smith definitely is, weather he did it or not he's a coward to run. He should clear his name, but I guess we know why he hasn't, and lets be serious do you honestly think the police can just accuse someone for murder Just because. I think not.
Julio Mora my love, I love you more than you'll ever know, you were a great person who was loved by many. You were on the road to success and were taken far to soon by a coward someone who probably envied you but Justice will be served and our entire family will make sure of this. Rip my love ♥♥♥ #justiceforjuliomora
Jan. 24, 2014, 10:40 pm
hat boy from 88th ave says:
S.i.p rock up love u bro
Feb. 22, 2014, 3:33 am
c from Southside sutphin says:
Free the goon....shudnt have been acting tough
Tough guys get dealt with
July 12, 2014, 9:52 pm
NG from Queens says:
Stfu c from southside go eat your mothers pussie, and your fyck boy ass friend is gonna be dealt with too! But for now he can continue to suck more dick!
July 16, 2014, 11:30 am
peko from south bronx says:
Are what the hell are all you people talking about this kid was a good kid he was a piece of —— his whole life you already been to prison two times one
robberies and one for drugs and he used to be a piece of —— in the neighborhood I may God have mercy on his soul that's the only thing I can say about it
Aug. 31, 8:28 am

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