Fausto Rodríguez, a 40-year-old Dominican father, was shot dead when a crash turned violent on the Cross Bronx Expressway, leaving four children orphaned in New York.
According to the NYPD, the gunman was upset when Rodríguez started recording him at the scene of the accident because it was a stolen car, the night of Friday, August 25.
The attacker has not been arrested, but this morning Mohammad Al-Wazani, 21, turned himself in at the Bronx 46th precinct police station as an alleged companion during the confusing incident, reported Daily News.
Rodriguez and a friend were heading south on the freeway near the Jerome Ave. exit in morris heights just before 11 p.m. Friday when his Honda Accord was rear-ended by a stolen Ford Edge, the NYPD said.
Four men in the Ford Edge then jumped out of the vehicle and scattered, running off the road on foot. “The driver of that vehicle told the victim: ‘This is a stolen car; you take care of it,’ he got into another car and drove off,” said New York Deputy Chief Joseph Kenny.
Rodríguez called 911 to report the accident, but at that moment a gunman returned to the scene in a Toyota Rav4 with Florida license plates. The gunman opened the stolen vehicle to retrieve something, and Rodríguez tried to stop him. “The victim said, ‘No, you’re not going to get anything out of that car. We are waiting for the police’ and he starts recording them. An argument ensued and…he was shot and killed,” Deputy Chief Kenny added.
That Toyota had not been involved in the crash. The gunman fled with another driver in that car, which was abandoned a short distance away.. Paramedics took the victim to St. Barnabas Hospital, but were unable to save him.
Al-Wazani arrived later after receiving a call from a friend involved in the crash, whom his lawyer described as “just someone from the neighborhood.” Al-Wazani thought that the person who called him was possibly driving without his insurance card or record of him and needed a ride to collect the documentation. “I had no idea that (the man) was violent or what his tendencies were,” said advocate Nicholas Ramcharitar.
The cause of the crash has not been determined. The New York authorities recall that there are zero tolerance with drivers who drive at excessive speed and/or under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Last week another Dominican died in a road accident in the Bronx, running a red light while riding his scooter without a helmet.
Traffic accidents are a big challenge in New York. This despite “Vision Zero” (Vision Zero), traffic safety plan created in 2014 by then-new mayor Bill de Blasio, who promised to make the city safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists with a goal of zero deaths by 2024. According to the NYPD, cyclist deaths increased 260% in the first six months of 2023 and 325% since the implementation of the “Vision Zero” plan in 2014. In many cases the drivers flee.
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