Men murdered in Corona and Richmond Hill

Friends including Junior Vassell (l.) gather at a makeshift memorial for a 23-year-old man who was fatally shot in Richmond Hill. Photo by Christina Santucci
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Two men in their 20s lost their lives over the weekend in western Queens murders, police said.

A 25-year-old man was fatally stabbed in front of a Roosevelt Avenue restaurant in Corona early Saturday, and less than 24 hours later a 23-year-old Richmond Hill native was gunned down on Liberty Avenue, the NYPD said.

Furman Herrera-Martinez, who lived less than four blocks from where he was attacked, was found with stab wounds to his chest and arm near Seba-Seba, at 96-06 Roosevelt Ave., just before 6 a.m. Saturday, police said.

A spokesman for the NYPD said Monday that Corona resident Abel Galindo, 23, was arrested and charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon in Herrera-Martinez’s death after turning himself in to police.

Raymond Pinera, manager of El Hornero Bakery, which is across the street from Seba-Seba, said he arrived at the shop later in the morning and the entire street was blocked off.

“It’s terrible,” he said. “Killed for nothing.”

Early Sunday, Gerrard Edwards was shot and killed in Richmond Hill after several men tried to jump him, police and the man’s friends said.

Officers were called at about 3:30 a.m. to respond to Liberty Avenue and 112th Street, where they found Edwards, who had been shot in the torso, the NYPD said.

Emergency responders took him to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to cops. An investigation was ongoing, police said Monday.

Friends who gathered around a makeshift memorial of flowers and candles Sunday afternoon said Edwards worked for a home health company delivering hospital beds and other medical supplies.

“He looked out for everyone,” Nelissa Sankar said. “He had a golden heart.”

Edwards grew up in Richmond Hill and lived less than a mile from where he was shot, but his parents were split between Poughkeepsie and Trinidad, friends said.

“He was always smiling, the life of the party,” said a friend who did not want to be identified and added that Edwards was a fan of the musician Drake.

The friend said Edwards and a few buddies were hanging out on the corner when several men got into a fight with Edwards and tried to jump him.

“One of them pulled out a gun and shot five times,” he said.

Junior Vassell said he came outside after the altercation had begun and saw his friend get shot.

“Gerrard turned around and he went to sit on the floor, and that was that,” he said.

“He was like a brother to me,” Vassell said. “He was my best friend.”

Friends said Edwards had been close with another murder victim, Stephen James, 21, who was stabbed to death at Liberty Avenue and 123rd Street in May.

Edwards’ Facebook account shows photo montages of a memorial to James with the phrase “RIP Sha Baby.”

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

Updated 12:44 am, December 24, 2013
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
As usual more senseless killings in our "diverse & vibrant" communities of Queens.

Queens keep doing downhill more and more because no one really cares, the quality of life is awful, communities are filthy with garbage and graffiti, enforcement of laws is lax, people pretty much do whatever the hell they want plus all of our leaders do very little.

A very different Queens from back in the day, when it actually was a very nice borough. Now pretty much a low class third world country with people to match,
Dec. 24, 2013, 12:32 pm
anon from queens says:
More illegals running around.....what else is new? All we have in queens is a bunch of third world rejects here. Their countries send them here that way, they don't have to deal with more low life people in their own countries. And the USA allows this to happen!! Then the steeple of nyc have the audacity to vote for distupidoblasio, crime is going up and it's just getting worst...wait until this illegal lover comes into office! Better watch your backs!!
Dec. 24, 2013, 3:43 pm
anon from queens says:
The sheeple*
Dec. 24, 2013, 3:44 pm
Geeta from NYS says:
Has there been an arrest? Are there suspect(s)? What are the police doing to find the killer? Which precinct is investigating?
Dec. 24, 2013, 4:37 pm
Geeta from NYS says:
Stephen James - has there been an arrest in this earlier killing? Or, are the detectives over there doing what the do best ? ie. nothing? (as journalists have forgotten that their job is to protect the public by asking the police for updates and follow ups). smh
Dec. 24, 2013, 4:44 pm
Cody Bachu from South Ozone Park says:
I am embarassed to be a 21 year old Indo-caribbean man reading the comments posted before me because though some of the comments are undoubtedly ignorant, there is some truth to every stereotype i.e the garbage lined liberty avenue to the increase in senseless killings. However, for this to be sarcastically blamed on diversity by Joe Moretti of Jamaica is misleading. Italians settled here both illegally and legally and kindled hubs for crime rings such as the mafia that also participated in violent murders. My point is that generalizations like these lead us nowhere as communities. In order to change these issues, we need collaborations that start at community boardmeetings. In fact there is almost no caribbean representatives at community board 10 monthly meetings. We need a stronger local political presence. And any individual can take the initiative to do that.
Dec. 24, 2013, 10:51 pm
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Cody Bachu from South Ozone Park says:

"However, for this to be sarcastically blamed on diversity by Joe Moretti of Jamaica is misleading. Italians settled here both illegally and legally and kindled hubs for crime rings such as the mafia that also participated in violent murders. "

Facts speak for themselves, some of the most dirty garbage strewn NYC communities and some of the more violent ones are communities with the new wave of immigrants, not all immigrants, but certain ones. I am not blaming it on diversity, but I am blaming it on certain communities with some of the newer immigrants. Explain why communities that were once nice, clean neighborhoods have now become garbage dumps with the arrival of some of these new immigrants.

As far as your analogy of Italians, the violence with Italians were committed by Italian criminals against other criminals, it did not involved civilians like so many of the killings you read about today. Also Italians as well as other immigrants in the day (Irish, English, etc) did not destroy their own communities and turn it into a garbage dump, they had respect for their new world and learned to assimilate into this country while still holding on to their roots. My grandmother every day as well as her immigrant neighbors everyday, cleaned the sidewalks and the street curb every single day in front of their homes. Today many immigrants do not even bother to learn the language of the new country that they arrived in, let alone clean in front of where they live.

So explain to me why communities that have these new immigrants are filthy, garbage strewn places, where people just throw their garbage onto the streets and sidewalks and do not even have the decency to keep a lid on a garbage can or clean up in front of their property. I should know, I live in one of these garbage strewn, low class immigrant, low c lass ghetto communities. Why cannot people handle the truth, especially when it comes to their own people. The problem is no one wants to face reality and they ignore the biggest problem, the one that lies within their own community, the people.

So do not hand me your bull.
Dec. 25, 2013, 7:39 am
Naomi K. from Queens says:
People kill other people for no reason , just to end up down under , 7 people tried to jump this innocent person for what reason to end up as low lives , I swear some people lack common sense , hope they found those 7 idiots , and what does immigrants have to do with what happened to these innocent people , I didn't read anything about them being immigrants . . straight ignorance.
Dec. 25, 2013, 9:43 pm
Reader from Jamaica says:
The time joe moretti takes to write in these articles go and clean up jamaica queens where have the majority of drug dealers and it's not immigrants who dealing it's United States citizens who don't go to school but cook there drugs in there apartments and dum ass , immigrants won't go around drawing graffiti they don't wanna get deported its ur own kinda people who do that —— also u talking bout ur kinda people cleaning infront there house oh please look at Indian people and how nice and clean there yards are .you sound like a racist to me
Dec. 27, 2013, 11:03 pm
Richard from Queens says:
Joe Moretti forgets history. Every new wave of immigrant when it assimilates are prone to a period of unsettling. Every race has their wave of criminals. Lets not forget the term "white trash" which was not coined by immigrants but by other white people. If i was to based every thing I read on the media, I would think Italian people are trashy people. The shows Jersey Shore and Mob Wives would show me that. Joe act like there is a murder and robbery every day in Queens. Crime has actually been the lowest it has ever been.
I don't believe in discriminating against any race. Hey but since this post does it. Ill like to thank Joe Moretti and his people for being fat lasagna eating, mafia driven and killing Native Americans with small pox blankets. Lets stop the hate and the killing. We are all Americans
Dec. 28, 2013, 1:21 pm
Dee from Richmond Hill says:
Since when does a death of a young man in our community become about immigrants? Does that help find the person responsible for crime? No! Italians, Guyanese, Indians, Mexican etc all have to do with the community not just the immigrants! My people back home are very clean, they clean their sidewalks the front and backyard etc. Joe, you should visit these countries and learn facts instead of being biased. I know immigrants that come to this county that live right by liberty avenue that clean and to what they can to keep it a great neighborhood. You can not judge all of us just for one. My parents always taught me not to think with a closed mind. I am Guyanese I am Hindu I do live right off Liberty Avenue, 2 blocks from the shooting FYI. Before the shooting a cop was beat till he couldn'tove by a Spanish person who was not an immigrant. I think you forget what the problem really is. Not immigrants, it's all people that result to gangs, rape, guns and rage. Think before you speak and before you hand anyone your bull Mr. Joe, you can only speak if your people but speak so low of others. This is 2014 not 1950.
Jan. 3, 2014, 2:48 pm
jones from ny says:
THESE comment are waste less for dis guy who innocently got killed an the police is not coin ah dam bat it

Jan. 12, 2014, 10:30 am
Ray from Woodside says:
Hate to break it to some of you but what Joes says are straight up facts.Majority of people in the West andSouthern part Queens are raised with a 3rd world country mentality.You all complain and say you hate nyc for its crime and dirtiness yet you yourselves are the ones that treat it like —— and show no sense of caring or consideration or even a sign of unity at all since most of you choose to segregate yourselves from other races and cultures and display a sense of arrogance to them.
Feb. 28, 2014, 1:10 am

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