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LI man arrested in March shooting death outside bar, police say

Hector Gonzalez, 27, of Huntington Station, was charged

Hector Gonzalez, 27, of Huntington Station, was charged in the March 31 death in Lindenhurst of Herminio Torres, 25, of Elizabeth, N.J., police said. Credit: SCPD

A Huntington Station man was arraigned Wednesday on a second-degree murder charge in connection with a fatal shooting during a Lindenhurst bar fight, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said.

Hector Gonzalez, 27, was arrested Tuesday in Huntington Station and charged in the March 31 death of Herminio Torres, 25, at 105 Grados, a lounge-restaurant on Sunrise Highway, officials said. Gonzalez was held without bail following his arraignment in Suffolk County Court in Central Islip.

District Attorney Timothy Sini identified Gonzalez as a member of the Latin Kings gang, and said the brawl at the bar was between members of the Latin Kings gang members and their “associates.” There were more than a dozen people inside when the altercation broke out, Sini said.

“My client maintains his innocence,” said Gonzalez’s attorney, Keith Brown of Centerport, adding he had no knowledge of his client being a member of a gang. Gonzalez is scheduled to return to court Monday when he is expected to learn whether or not he has been indicted, Brown said.

Police have said Gonzalez and Torres knew each other, but investigators have not provided a motive for the fight.

“We do believe this is a situation where there’s a collection of gang members and a fight breaks out,” Sini said, adding that the bar is a known gang hangout that is on the radar of the Suffolk County police because of community complaints.

According to Sini, Torres was “shot in the chest, then the fight continued moving down the road and at that point numerous individuals assaulted the victim and the defendant shot the victim three more times,” including in the back of the head.

Four others involved in the fracas suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, including one person who was shot in the chest and three who were stabbed, officials said.

A neighbor had told Newsday that he heard an argument, then gunshots.

Gonzalez was not hurt in the fight, police said. Torres, of Elizabeth, New Jersey, was pronounced dead at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.

With Ellen Yan and Zachary R. Dowdy

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