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Man Indicted for Murder in Stray Bullet Killing of Jackson Heights Woman

Bertha Arriaga (Photo: GoFundme)

Oct. 29, 2020 By Christian Murray

A Corona man has been indicted by a Queens Grand jury on murder, manslaughter and other charges for the stray-bullet killing of a woman who was in her Jackson Heights apartment last month.

Issam Elabbar, 31, was arraigned today on a seven-count indictment including murder in the second degree for firing a single shot in the early hours of Sept. 30 that ripped through a 3rd floor window killing a mother of three.

“Inside your home, you expect to be safe. You expect your loved ones to be safe from the violence and senseless mayhem that of late has plagued our neighborhood streets,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “But, last month an innocent woman became the victim of a senseless act of gun violence while in her own home.”

According to the charges, Elabbar and another man were on the sidewalk on 34th Avenue near 92nd Street attempting to steal a bike at around 1 a.m. on Sept 30. Elabbar turned around and fired a shot into the air over his left shoulder and it went through a glass bedroom window and hit Bertha Arriaga in the neck.

Arriaga, 43, fell to the floor with blood pouring from the gunshot and she struggled to breathe. The victim’s 14-year-old son found her after hearing gurgling noises. She later died.

Elabbar, who lived on 41st Avenue, faces 25-years-to-life in prison and has a return date of Jan. 21, 2021.

He was indicted on charges of murder in the second degree; manslaughter in the second degree; criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; attempted petit larceny; criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree; and unlawful possession of pistol ammunition.

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