Ramiro Gutierrez, 26, was charged Feb. 5 with the murder of Abel Mosso, 20. The homicide was committed on a subway platform in Queens in the middle of the day on Feb. 3.
Gutierrez, an alleged member of the notorious MS-13 gang, was one of three men who started to beat Mosso on the No. 7 train and then drag him out of the train onto the platform where one of the men brandished a gun and fired six times, shooting Mosso multiple times in the face, according to the charges (pdf). Mosso was reportedly a member of the rival 18th Street Gang.
Police arrested Gutierrez on Feb. 4 and the next day, informed media that he would be brought out of the 115th Precinct building at 4 p.m. and transported to a courthouse in Queens, The New York Post reported.
But Gutierrez was instead walked out at 2 p.m. through the building’s back door, the Post reported.
The NYPD blamed the change of schedule on a request from the Queens District Attorney’s office but sources in the office denied to the Post knowledge of such a request.
Handling of the Gutierrez’s transfer ran counter of NYPD’s commitment to transparency, according to Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), one of the city’s police unions.
“Why would you hide him from the media? It makes it more suspicious,” he told the Post. “The perception of hiding him from the public raises questions … How do you say that there’s transparency when you do things like this?”
Bob Mladinich, SBA’s spokesman, couldn’t say who decided to move Gutierrez early and through the back door.
“We don’t know where the idea originated to prevent the media from covering the perp walk,” he said via email.
Disturbing daytime subway shooting in Queens caught on video https://t.co/N1cl3NFlda via @nypmetro Unbelievable plenty of people around & a man murdered on NYC Subway. Tragic& sad but raises the question is NYC safe or are the current policies beginning to show they don’t work?
— SBA (@SBANYPD) February 4, 2019
Gutierrez was in the country illegally, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement stated.
The District Attorney’s office and the NYPD didn’t respond to requests for comment.