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Brooklyn man criminally charged with murder in random shooting rampage through Richmond Hill: DA

Jul. 10, 2023 By Bill Parry

A Brooklyn man is facing 25 years to life in prison after he was charged with murder and other crimes for his rolling reign of terror through the streets of Richmond Hill on Saturday morning in a shooting rampage that left an 86-year-old man dead and three others injured.

Thomas Abreu, 25, of Elton Street in Cypress Hills, was arraigned Monday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Scott Dunn on a complaint charging him with murder in the second degree, four counts of attempted murder in the second degree, two counts of assault in the first degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Abreu made his appearance via a closed-circuit video from an area hospital where he is undergoing psychiatric evaluations.

During the arraignment, it was disclosed that Abreu made a bizarre admission to detectives during questioning.

“The Russians are after me. The Chinese are after me. The Italians are after me. Africa is after me,” he allegedly said, according to Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Selkowe.

Schneps Media reached out to Abreu’s attorney Jonathan Latimer and is awaiting a response.

Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

According to the charges, at around 11:10 a.m. on July 8, Abreu was observed on video surveillance on Ashford Street and Arlington Avenue in Brooklyn driving a moped and wearing a green shirt when he allegedly shot a 21-year-old man in the back. The victim was rushed to Brookdale University Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Approximately 16 minutes later, Abreu rode into Richmond Hill at 108th Street and Jamaica Avenue, where he was again observed by video surveillance — and by an eyewitness — wearing a green shirt, as well as a fanny pack on his shoulder. He approached 86-year-old Homod Ali Saeidi, a married father of six, as he stood outside May’s Beauty salon located at 108-19 Jamaica Ave. and shot him in the back, according to the charges. That victim was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center where he was pronounced dead a short while later.

Abreu allegedly opened fire on pedestrians in Richmond Hill and Brooklyn while riding this moped. NYPD

Approximately one minute later, at the same location, Abreu fired at a pedestrian walking on the sidewalk. The shooting was again observed on video surveillance and by an eyewitness. The pedestrian was not injured.

Moments later, video surveillance captured Abreu on 126th Street and Hillside Avenue. He pulled up next to a parked minivan and shot the 44-year-old driver once in his head, according to the charges. The victim was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, where he was listed in critical condition with life-threatening injuries.

Abreu was also seen on video surveillance at approximately 11:36 a.m. at the intersection of 131st Street and Jamaica Avenue, in the same green shirt. He rode past someone on a scooter and fired at him, according to the charges. The person was not injured.

Approximately one minute later, Abreu was observed on video surveillance on 134th Street and Jamaica Avenue, where he approached a 54-year-old pedestrian who was crossing the street and shot him in the shoulder, according to the charges. The victim was rushed to nearby Jamaica Hospital, where he was in stable condition.

Police recovered the firearm Abreu allegedly used to kill an 86-year-old man in Richmond Hill and left three others wounded. NYPD

Following a two-hour manhunt, Abreu was arrested at approximately 1 p.m. after NYPD officers from the 113th and 103rd Precincts saw him near Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue riding his moped wearing a green shirt and fanny pack. He was apprehended after a short foot pursuit and the 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine was recovered.

“The streets of two boroughs were turned into scenes of terror as this defendant allegedly rode his scooter, shooting indiscriminately at pedestrians and others,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “Thank you to the NYPD for quickly apprehending the suspect. My office will hold him fully accountable and seek justice for the victims.”

Judge Dunn ordered Abreu held without bail with a return date scheduled for July 13.

Meanwhile, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards will host a community vigil on Tuesday, July 11, at 6 p.m. on the corner of 109th Street and Jamaica Avenue in Richmond Hill — the site of Saeidi’s murder — to honor those impacted by these senseless, random shootings and shine a spotlight on the crises that fuel gun violence.

“Another day, another example of an everyday activity becoming a life-and-death endeavor in America. This time, it was a beloved senior right here in Richmond Hill who was killed for having the audacity to take a simple Saturday stroll through the community he called home for decades,” Richards said. “Queens’ collective heart breaks for Mr. Saeidi’s family and friends, and we pray that our three neighbors wounded in this shooting spree make full physical, mental, and emotional recoveries.”

The NYPD announced last week that shootings across the city are down 25% compared to a year ago, but Saturday’s rampage through Richmond Hill shows there is still much work to do.

“We’ve made significant progress as a city in reducing shooting incidents, addressing our mental health crisis, and draining the tributaries that feed the river of gun violence our society has been swimming through,” Richards said. “But Saturday’s shootings show us there is so much more to be done. Tomorrow night, we come together to mourn, but also to recommit ourselves to the work ahead.”

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