Police have made a second arrest in the September 3rd fatal shooting of 33-year-old Javier Sanchez at a Brooklyn gas station, charging 29-year-old Ezequiel Delamerced with murder, robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Background on the Murder
On September 3rd at around 4:05 AM, Sanchez was confronted by several individuals in the parking lot of a BP gas station on Myrtle Avenue near Irving Avenue in Bushwick. Surveillance footage showed the suspects approaching Sanchez before knocking him to the ground. Sanchez attempted to get up and approach one of the men before collapsing, having suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the head. He was rushed to Elmhurst Hospital Center but could not be saved.
Sanchez had moved to New York City just over a year before his murder to start a new life. His 4-year-old daughter and mother still reside in his native Ecuador. Sanchez’s cousin described him as a hardworking man who moved to the US for a better life for his family.
Previous Arrest Made
On September 12th, police arrested a 17-year-old male and charged him with murder, robbery, and criminal possession of a weapon for his alleged role in Sanchez’s death. The teenager’s name was not released due to his age.
Second Suspect Arrested
On the morning of October 12th, officers arrested Delamerced in connection with Sanchez’s murder. He has been charged with the same crimes as the 17-year-old previously arrested. Police have not released details on how Delamerced was tied to the homicide or what his alleged role was in the fatal shooting and robbery.
Two Suspects Still At Large
Despite these arrests, the NYPD says two additional suspects involved in Sanchez’s murder remain at large. They have identified 23-year-old Gonzalo Martinez and 19-year-old Sherlin Licurgo Espinoza as persons of interest and continue to search for them.
Police are urging anyone with information on the whereabouts of Martinez or Espinoza to come forward.
Mourning for Sanchez
At the Downtown Brooklyn apartment, Sanchez shared with his sister, she continues to grieve his loss eight months after the senseless slaying. His family remembers Sanchez as a kind man who doted on his young daughter and had dreams of a better life in America before it was tragically cut short.
Pattern of Violent Crime in Brooklyn
Sanchez’s murder comes amid an uptick in violent crime in Brooklyn in 2022. The borough has seen a nearly 40% increase in homicides and a 20% rise in shootings compared to 2021.
Community leaders and officials have attributed the violence to disputes between gangs and groups of young men, exacerbated by the availability of illegal guns. The NYPD has pledged to increase patrols and form a special unit to get illegal firearms off the streets. But for grieving families like Sanchez’s, the violence has already taken an irreparable toll.
Prior Case Connections
While the investigation into Sanchez’s death is still ongoing, his murder bears some similarities to other violent crimes in the area.
In 2021, 26-year-old Javier Sanchez (same first and last name but a different individual than the current case) was shot dead during an alleged robbery in Metairie, Louisiana. A man named Calvin King was sentenced to mandatory life in prison for his role in that homicide.
In 2007, in San Antonio, Texas, Alonzo Gonzalez received a life sentence for the capital murder of an unrelated man also named Javier Sanchez.
It is unclear if the current Javier Sanchez case has any direct connections to these prior homicides beyond the name similarities. But it highlights the depressingly common nature of deadly violence perpetrated against young Hispanic men across the country.
The arrest of a second suspect represents progress in the investigation into Javier Sanchez’s heartbreaking murder. But two perpetrators remain free. Sanchez’s family and community are still searching for full justice and closure in this senseless killing.
Police urge anyone with information about the two outstanding suspects to contact the NYPD. And the city continues working to implement solutions to stem the tide of violence ravaging Brooklyn neighborhoods.