Teen Charged With Murder in Stabbing of 17-Year-Old Outside 7-Eleven; Suspect’s Mother Charged as Accomplice
IBexclusive News Wednesday May 1, 2019.
(IBEXNews) - The gory knifing murder of a Brooklyn teen outside a 7-Eleven was a family affair, authorities say.
David Lopez, 17, was charged Wednesday with fatally plunging a knife into the neck and chest of another young man in a lethal confrontation, while his mom was jailed on $25,000 cash bail for allegedly hiding the bloody murder weapon wielded by her son.
Prosecutor Wilfredo Cotto said Barbara Galloza, 38, was standing alongside her son Lopez when the deadly stabbing occurred Monday around 4 p.m. — and she flew instantly into cover-up mode.
“(She) immediately grabs the knife and hurries away with the knife,” said Cotto. “What we allege was caught in video surveillance ... The knife’s location is unknown. The mother refused to reveal the knife’s location.”
Lopez was additionally charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the Monday afternoon attack on 17-year-old Rohan Burke, who died hours after he was stabbed outside a Midwood 7-Eleven. Burke staggered into a restaurant across the street as blood spurted from a severed artery and died a few hours later at Maimonides Hospital.
A lawyer for Galloza claimed her son was outnumbered four to one in the fight. But cops said Wednesday there are no additional suspects in the slaying.
Dapper defendant Lopez was led out of the 70th Precinct wearing a snappy grey suit with black lapels. He ignored the shouted questions of reporters, and showed no emotion before ducking his head to climb into the backseat of a police vehicle.
Galloza, in dark jeans, a red top and a blue jacket, appeared tired as she entered the courtroom to face charges of tampering with physical evidence and hindering prosecution. Her lawyer Adam Uris said she was the mother of five, ranging in age from 1 to 22, and currently living at a shelter in the Bronx.
Uris insisted his client did nothing more than call 911 to protect her son against his assailants.
“I think that the people in this case are basing their allegations on the fact of the mother’s love and willingness to take care of her child,” he said. “My client tells me she wasn’t present when whatever happened happened.”
A Brooklyn neighbor of the teen’s grandparents said Lopez’s grandfather died of cancer on the same day as the fatal stabbing.
“They’re beside themselves,” said the neighbor about the distraught Lopez clan. “It’s too much for them right now. It’s too much. They feel horrible about what happened. They’re just dealing with too much right now.”
According to defense attorney Uris, Galloza was only in the Brooklyn neighborhood with her son to find hospice care for her dying dad.