A Centereach man was captured on surveillance video firing the shot that claimed the life of a Medford woman outside of a Coram restaurant Saturday, Suffolk police said.
Suffolk Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison, speaking yards away from where the shooting took place, said at a news briefing Wednesday that detectives obtained the footage from parking lot cameras. That video led to the arrest of Anthony Santiesteban, 30, a parolee, who has now been charged with the murder of 33-year-old Martina Thompson.
Harrison said the footage showed Santiesteban and Thompson engaged in conversation before she walked to a nearby gated dumpster area. "Moments after that [Santiesteban] pulled out a single firearm, shooting our victim one time in the head," the commissioner said.
The footage showed Santiesteban driving away in a black vehicle, which helped police identify him and arrest him outside his Oxhead Road home about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Officers found Thompson at 1:25 a.m. Saturday when they responded to a 911 call about shots fired. She was brought to nearby Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue and pronounced dead.
Middle Island Civic Association president Gail Lynch-Bailey, who serves in a police ambassador program started by the commissioner this year, said the killing took place in a neighborhood where residents have "just had it" with crime.
"Unfortunately [the shooting] is an example of the worst of what can happen when outsiders come here hellbent on breaking the law," Lynch-Bailey said.
A makeshift memorial has been started near the dumpster area where the body was found. Lynch-Bailey said when she visited Tuesday she found family members mourning their loss.
Police told Newsday over the weekend that they believed Thompson, of East Patchogue, had been targeted, but they have not discussed possible motives behind the killing.
Santiesteban pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree murder and was ordered held without bail at his arraignment in First District Court in Central Islip Wednesday. His attorney, Jonathan Manley of Hauppauge, declined to comment.
Sanitesteban previously served 4 1/2 years in prison on a burglary conviction and is on parole until April 2024, state Department of Correction records show.
With Matthew Chayes and Nicholas Spangler