Briarwood man found shot dead in street: NYPD

A police officer stands guard at the corner of 103rd Avenue and 108th Street. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers
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A 20-year-old Briarwood man was found shot dead on an Ozone Park street early Saturday morning, police said.

Officers said they arrived at the corner of 103rd Avenue and 108th Street around 5 a.m., where Branden Santiago was found wearing a helmet with two gunshot wounds to the head near a scooter.

The Police Department said first responders brought Santiago, to Jamaica Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Officers said it was unclear exactly how Santiago, a Briarwood resident, was connected to the black bike.

As of Saturday afternoon, police said they had made no arrests.

Police taped off the intersection and were seen investigating clothing and what appeared to be shell casings on the street Saturday morning.

Passersby stopped to watch officers at work. Many said they did not hear gunfire or sirens, but woke up to see their neighborhood swarming with police.

“We were going to walk that way and then I saw what happened,” said Jacqueline Ramos, gesturing to the yellow police tape wrapped around the block and police snapping photos of evidence. “This is a good neighborhood. That’s why I live here.”

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at

Posted 2:46 pm, April 19, 2014
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Reader feedback

anon from queens says:
Yea....welcome to queens.....vibrant and diverse!
April 19, 2014, 6:32 pm
jasmine miranda from ozone park says:
I knew this man we went to junior high he was a good n nice angel he was the glue to friendship n he will b missed but neva forgotten I promise u that n for the monsters n sons of B's that Did diz to lil brandon should get what they deserve n cought fast
April 20, 2014, 6:09 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
Since there are really no details about this, I am curious though why every time there is a shooting in the Greater Jamaica area (which 99% of the time is drug related or involves criminals of some kind), there are people who always say "he was a good person".

These things only happen to good people, when they are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
April 20, 2014, 6:51 am
Rachel Barreto from Briarwood says:
I am Branden Santiago sister and directed to Joe Moretti my brother wasn't a good kid HE WAS A DAMN ANGEL . And since you know so much about the neighborhood you would know that no place is safe. Keep your comments to yourself you don't know —— .
April 20, 2014, 8:18 am
Gabriel Diaz from woodhaven says:
Nd knew Brendon personally but hardly hung out with him, he was a good person , never the type to get into trouble as far as I know. Last time I seen him was last month riding his own scooter. Really good kid and respectful. Crazy how things happen so fast with out knowing. My prayers go to you Rachel Barreto n your family. I hope these hard times makes you guys stronger , may he rest in paradise.
April 20, 2014, 9:03 am
Times Ledger staff from Queens says:
Hi Ms. Barreto,

We attempted to reach out to your family, but could not find the exact apartment. We would like to learn more about Mr. Santiago so that he could be remembered as your family knew him. If you would like to share anything about him, let us know. 718-260-4546 or
April 20, 2014, 9:37 am
TaniaDiaz from Woodhaven says:
Branden was an Angel And Was great Kid that Always Had A smile on His Face!! He Always Lit up the room... If You Didn't Know Him Please don't Post Comments, He Was Like A Son to Me And He Will Be Missed!!
Please Respect
April 20, 2014, 9:41 am
Melissa Sanchez from Jamaica says:
Branden was a perfect nephew, son, brother, friend and stranger. It's so sad how people jump to conclusions, maybe just to pacify their own ugly demons....such as posting unnecessary comments during a time of grief! Branden Peter Santiago I love you always!!
April 20, 2014, 10:34 am
helena from brooklyn says:
I went to jr high & high school with this kid he was sweet kind and hella funny we would always joke and bump heads in the hallways and bug out lol

R.i.p. Baby boy
April 20, 2014, 2:33 pm
joshua medina from Queens new york says:
Branden was MY BEST FRIEND I grew up with him since 7 years heart is broken in half an I cry every time I hear about it..I still don't want to belive this but sadly it's true..I wish he would have moved with me like he was pose to years ago..He was the greatest person in my life an the streets took him from one but rachel knows how I'm feeling..He was my right hand man since seven years old an I'm 20 now..
April 20, 2014, 3:05 pm
karina dennis from rockaway blvd says:
Ive none Branden sense middle & I went to high school with him as well. He was part of the crew I hung out with. Was out little one even tho he was the same age as us that was our little bibi
April 20, 2014, 3:46 pm
Innelly's Rodriguez from richmondhill says:
I grew up with both branden and his sister rachel . Practicaly family && blood couldnt make us any closer. Never was branden a bad kid . He always kept his eyes out for me nd his sister . He is my soldier . I will NEVER forget him ! LONG.LIVE.BRANDEN
April 20, 2014, 6:07 pm
Mrs B from Briarwood, Queens says:
A real somber feeling to hear these news. I barely knew Branden, but would see him on the block on his bike, by the deli, in the park during the summer and so forth. He was always very respectful and smiling. My heart goes out to his family who lost this wonderful kid, with such a sweet demeanor ( and the most gorgeous golden locks). You guys are in our Thoughts & Prayers . If those who did this are not being brought to justice by the court of law, please trust universal laws and karma will do the work .

RIP Branden. So sad :'(
April 20, 2014, 8 pm
dropsandtheothers from Briarwood says:
Branden was a cool and bright person. He lived literally a block away from me. We hung out a lot of times and had a blast. I haven't seen him for a few months only saw him on his scooter. RIP Branden you was lilke another brother to me, you was part of my circle of trust and its devastating to see you on the news shot dead. People now a days are savages this dosent make me sound any better than the those savages but i woulda had your back definately if I was there bro. I wish it was anybody but you, the good always seem to die young, i didnt even believe this at first cuz i knew you would never get taken out so easily. Theres always a spot for you in my circle no matter what and again RIP Branden I really wish we coulda hung out more often....
April 20, 2014, 10 pm
Jeannette Torres from Brooklyn, NY/Richmond VA says:
My deepest and sincerest condolences to the family. I know them very well, God Fearing and very family oriented never involved in any drama or caught with "bad company". Loved and adored by all who truly know them. It's a shame how people get judged by what is posted in the news or how it gets "MISrepresented". YES bad things happen to GOOD people everywhere in the world. YES it hurts to be the brunt of cruel words slurred on paper when the truth is that no one knows exactly what happened hence "INVESTIGATION" My suggestion is for those who do not know the family or what happened to mind your business and stop posting nonsence just to be seen or heard. If the tables were turned it would not be a pleasant situation.
My heart goes out to the family no one so young should have to be buried by thier parents. Gone but never forgotten. A heartbroken friend of the family.
April 21, 2014, 7:05 am
reader from queens says:
first of all anyone who reads this paper can post comments if they like its not a matter of facts we state our personal opinion on what information that was posted . this is my opinion this got to be gang related (ms13) cause most young Spanish people in that gang and they like to shoot or it could be drug related. if he was such a good kid he would of been home playing video games all day . cant wait to read the updates on this case.
April 21, 2014, 4:54 pm
Chris from Woodhaven says:
To the previous comment "reader" you're ignorant. Keep your personal opinion to yourself. You have the balls to post something but not your name. Get your facts straight before you talk out the side of your face.
April 21, 2014, 8:39 pm
Nicole&Christine from Queens says:
This breaks my heart, it still hasn't fully sunk in that I'm not gonna be hanging out with you over the summer. You were a beautiful young man, and you were so full of life and always smiling. I'll forever appreciate all the times I got to spend with you, all the times we've snuck you into my house with your friends. We'll all be holding it down for you here. Watch over us, till we meet again angel
April 21, 2014, 9:49 pm
Readerresponse from Queens says:
You ignorant piece of —— i hope you die the same way he did. ——in savage ended his comment with "case". If it was any type of authority that did this to my realest friend Branden. I swear i wish the worst for your ignorant self. RIP BRANDEN YOU WAS THE REALIST NIGGAH TO MY TRIGGER. I HOPE YOU GIVE ME A SIGN THAT YOUR IN A BETTER PLACE. RIP BRANDEN I HOPE YOU SEE THIS FROM ABOVE ILL HAVE YOU IN MY HEART ALL THE TIME UNTIL I CAN MEET YOU UP THERE!
April 22, 2014, 3:16 am
Stranger says:
My Condolences to the Santiago Family- No parent should ever buried their children..

Rest in paradise little angel..
April 22, 2014, 8:01 am
Elijah from jamacia ave 92 says:
its so sad to see one of your homies die young especially a —— that show nun but love and respect r.i.p brandon love you bro.
April 23, 2014, 3:29 am
Rachel Barreto from Queens says:
Yeah your right this is a page for opinions and my opinion of you is your a complete ——. And you were probably one of the kids who stood at home being molested by your uncle....and you liked it. That's why your so ——ed up today. I hope one of your family members die in the streets so you can see how it feels when dicks write ignorant comments!
April 26, 2014, 12:14 pm
Sarah from virginia says:
My heart goes out to his family, his grandmother is my friend and she is broken hearted. My prayers are with you and your family. This is a very sad time for this family. Please be respectful. RIP Branden.
April 28, 2014, 1:47 pm
Mildred Santiago from Briarwood says:
In response to the "reader" from dare you talk —— about my nephew like that, you have no ——en heart!! He was a great kid, he was full of life, always had a smile on his face. You have no clue what our family is going through since the loss of Branden Santiago. Keep your ——en ignorant comments to your damn self!!!!!!
May 2, 2014, 8:24 am
Christina from Queens says:
God Bless this sweet boy who was ALWAYS!!!! happy and smiling behind me in class. He was an angel on earth and now he's an angel up above. It's so sad that a sweet, happy life was stolen from us so fast. He will forever live in my heart. xoxo RIP Branden
May 18, 2014, 1:15 pm
His youngest uncle from Orlando says:
Everybody wana give their opinion that he wasn't a good kid. Everyone has good in them. Don't end up a statistic homie. We don't play down here. And for the record whoever did this and is listening. Hope u check in protective custody coward and they catch u first. No more talkin. Rip nephew. U already know we got u. Green team
May 28, 2014, 11:45 am
e from queens says:
For those of you that don't know Brandon was not in any gang he really and truly was a good kid really didn't get to know him well but we'll enough to know that he wasn't ms13.... so please before you post a comment know you facts about ppl and don't judge off of what the news tells u because the news isn't always right as we all...
May 30, 2014, 7:16 pm
Alexandria from woodhaven says:
May your family member rest with the angels.
June 11, 2014, 8:04 am
Mariela Gonzalez from Richmondhill ny says:
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep,
If I shall die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen. May your soul be with the Lord.
June 13, 2014, 9:09 pm
Roni from queens says:
Damn man , haven't seen you in years bro since high school , see you soon my guy , God taking care of you now brother
June 20, 2014, 10:36 pm
Roni from queens says:
Damn man , haven't seen you in years bro since high school , see you soon my guy , God taking care of you now brother
June 20, 2014, 10:36 pm
Cripple from Harlem says:
Havent seen u since highschool u wus official.always use to see u in the hallway always smiling a gd kid my brotha
July 3, 2014, 2:01 pm
Danielle from Corona Queens says:
I didn't personally know lil Branden but I dam sure knew he was a great kid. We went to the same highschool "Newtown" together, and everytime i seen him he was always laughing and dancing. He even made me die laughing a few times. He knew some of my people in Newtown and they were always together with him. Never seen him mad always seen him happy and jolly. Its fckn sad how some of these stupid ass people judging who he was and assuming his lifestyle and didnt even know him. I ver if that —— happened to one of their family members they wouldnt want negative ass comments. Mt heart goes out ti #1 his mom because a parent should never have to bury her child. I know the pain shes going through. Even six months after his death i pray his family are closer then ever.

S.I.P. Lil Branden GOD BLESS
Oct. 6, 2014, 4:28 pm
Danny from Woodhaven says:
One year later, you are still in people's thoughts and hearts. I know your paradise is better than where we're at. To Branden's family, I hope you all are doing well. And Branden will always be with you love God! Amen
April 21, 2015, 2:48 am

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