Teenager Indicted in Shooting of Sudanese Diplomat's Wife in Astoria

By Julie Shapiro on August 6, 2012 7:47pm 

Miguel Mata is accused of shooting Mawahib Elbahi, wife of Sudan's consul general.
Miguel Mata is accused of shooting Mawahib Elbahi, wife of Sudan's consul general.
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DNAinfo/Trevor Kapp

QUEENS — A teenager was indicted last week on attempted murder charges for shooting the wife of a Sudanese diplomat in Astoria last April, prosecutors announced Monday.

Miguel Mata, 19, a Queens resident, is accused of firing the stray bullet that hit Mawahib Elbahi, 31, wife of the Sudanese consul general, as she stood outside her home at 14-56 31st Drive with her two young children April 17, prosecutors said.

Elbahi "came within an inch of her life" when the bullet tore through her shoulder and neck, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said after the shooting. She was hospitalized in stable condition, and her 3-year-old daughter and infant son, who were with her, were not hurt, officials said.

Mata, who prosecutors said was firing at a group of teenagers and struck Elbahi by mistake, was charged in Queens County Supreme Court last Thursday with attempted murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon, reckless endangerment and endangering the welfare of a child, prosecutors said.

He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

"This was a shocking incident in which a woman with an infant in her arms and a toddler by her side was almost killed outside her home," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement Monday.

"Fortunately, she survived her terrifying ordeal," Brown continued. "Yet, the case is just one more glaring example of mindless gun-related violence that recklessly puts people’s lives at risk."

Mata was held on $100,000 bail and will next appear in court Sept. 17.

Mata's lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment Monday evening.

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