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Teen Charged with Murder in Washington Heights Shooting

By Lindsay Armstrong | October 10, 2014 1:56pm | Updated on October 13, 2014 8:49am
 Orlando Rivera, 42, was shot dead and two others were wounded when gunfire erupted on St. Nicholas Avenue Thursday evening.
Man Killed, 2 Others Wounded in St. Nicholas Avenue Shooting
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FORT GEORGE — A teen has been arrested and charged with the shooting death of a popular local man that left two others, who police believe were the intended target, injured, authorities said.

Marcos Espinal, 17, of Post Ave., was arrested on Oct. 3 and charged with second degree murder of 42-year-old Orlando Rivera, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said. Rivera was shot in the back while standing on St. Nicholas Avenue near West 193rd about 6:40 p.m. the day before, marking the first homicide of the year in the 34th Precinct.

Two others were also caught in the gunfire, including a teenage girl who was shot in the left foot and a 20-year-old man who was struck in both legs, the NYPD said. Both have extensive criminal backgrounds and were possibly targeted in the shooting. 

They were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

Police and witnesses said that a group of teens opened fire on the street before fleeing the scene in a maroon Chevy Astro minivan.

Two guns were used in the shooting, though neither has been recovered, a police source said. 

Investigators are still looking for four other suspects in connection with the incident, the source added.

Espinal's lawyer declined to comment.

Rivera's friends described him as "highly respected" and an "awesome guy," claiming he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He was the sweetest, most caring person in the world," friend Selly Concepcion, 34, said last week from Rivera's nearby building. "He was my best friend. We would talk a thousand times a day. I don't know how we're going to get through this."