Almost two dozen New York City gang members have been rounded up as part of a huge NYPD operation launched after a mom-of-two was killed by a stray bullet on her way back from grocery shopping amid a brazen street shoot-out two years ago.
The tragic March 2021 death of the 37-year-old mother of two GudeliaVallinas — shot on her way back from shopping for her family — prompted an investigation that ultimately led to the 84-count indictment against 23 reputed gang members, according to prosecutors.
Eighteen of the men face charges connected to shootings, prosecutors said. Fifteen face counts of attempted murder, while the rest were charged with conspiracy and other crimes.
“Miss. Vallinas is our American dream, whose life was suddenly halted due to gang members recklessly firing bullets, with total disregard of anybody around them,”
Queens District Attorney Deputy Chief Jason Savino said
Vallinas, an immigrant from Mexico who cleaned houses for a living, was walking home on March 21, 2021, in Woodside when she was hit in the head by a stray bullet — in a shooting that authorities said was part of an ongoing war between two gangs.
The feud started in 2018 when the alliance between the two Crips gangs in Woodside and Astoria public housing developments fell apart over a drug deal.
Since then, the crews have repeatedly taunted each other on social media and in drill rap videos, leading to drive-by shootings on mopeds and brazen daytime gunfights, authorities said.
The loving mom was gunned down at Broadway and 48th Street, just half a block from the first-floor rowhouse apartment where she raised her daughter, 9, and son, 10, the family has said.