After a New York judge released a teen for the third time in four months on gun charges, the 16-year-old shot and killed a 34-year-old father of four. Alberto Ramirez is reportedly a gang member, and the incident apparently took place when he was in a rival gang's neighborhood.
Alberto Ramirez is accused of shooting Eric Velasquez on May 16. Ramirez, who was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, first degree manslaughter, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, would not have been on the street had he not been previously released by NYC Supreme Court Justice Denis Boyle—twice, according to the New York Post.
In December, Boyle let Ramirez go without bail on gun charges, and in March, Ramirez's bail was set at a mere $10,000. Prosecutors had opposed the December release, and had asked for bail to be set at $75,000 in March.
Boyle's failings also extend to how Ramirez was charged. Prosecutors had looked for him to be tried as an adult, but Judge Boyle refused. Boyle dropped the cases down to family court.
The shooting took place in the Fordham area of the Bronx, when Ramirez opened fire on a crowd. Velasquez was part of that crowd, and only feet from his apartment, when he took a bullet in the stomach. He died in hospital hours later.
Ramirez previous crimes include gun charges in October, also in the Bronx, when he and friends "dropped a loaded handgun that fired a round through a wall and into an adjacent apartment," according to the Post. Police seized three firearms in a warranted search, and Ramirez was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. That case went to family court.
In December, Ramirez was caught with a "loaded and defaced .25-caliber pistol," for which he was charged with "second-degree criminal possession of a weapon." It was at that time that Boyle let Ramirez return to the street with a bond of just $2,000. In February the teen shot himself in the foot apparently unintentionally.
Ramirez was not held on any of these gun charges, and each time he was released, he obtained another weapon, finally using it to kill Eric Velasquez for no reason. Ramirez has pleaded not guilty.