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19-Year-Old Faces 25 Years to Life in Prison for Stray-Bullet Killing of Gudelia Vallinas: DA

Police tape hangs from a signpost where the fatal shooting took place (Photo: Christina Santucci)

April 21, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

A 19-year-old Woodside Houses resident faces 25 years to life in prison for the stray bullet killing of a 37-year-old mother-of-two last month.

Dajuan Williams was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court Tuesday for allegedly killing Gudelia Vallinas while she was walking near the corner of 48th Street and Broadway on March 12, according to the Queens District Attorney’s Office.

Williams, of 50-15 Broadway, allegedly fired shots at a rival gang member at around 8:15 p.m. when a stray bullet fatally hit Vallinas in the head. Vallinas was out doing errands at Walgreens pharmacy at the time, near where she lived, when she was struck.

The 19-year-old has been charged with murder in the second degree and criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree.

Vallinas, who was from Mexico, was the mother to an 11-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. The killing shocked the community and was widely condemned Several rallies have taken place seeking justice for Vallinas and an end to local gun violence.

Several people held signs with the words “Justice for Gudelia Vallinas” at a rally shortly after her death (Photo: Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said the killing of Vallinas was needless.

“Two young children lost their mother due to this senseless shooting,” Katz said, adding that the community must “continue to sound the alarm” about the dangers of illegal firearms on the streets.

“This cycle of violence must stop and we must work diligently to get guns off our streets.”

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Williams had gotten into an apparent altercation with rival gang member Alexander Acevedo at the Woodside Houses NYCHA development moments before Vallinas was shot.

Acevedo, 25, fired at least one shot at Williams near the basketball court inside the development. The incident then spilled out on the street and Williams allegedly fired several shots down Broadway with one of those bullets allegedly striking Vallinas.

Acevedo, of 37th Street Astoria, was arraigned on April 13 and charged with criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment. He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted and was ordered back to court on April 29.

Williams is due back in court on May 20.

Several people held signs demanding justice for the killing of Gudelia Vallinas at a protest on March 25 (Photo: Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

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