A purported MS-13 gang member from Hempstead faces life in prison after he was found guilty of fatally shooting a man outside a Flushing deli in 2017, officials said.
A jury on Thursday took three hours to convict Jose “Smoker” Alvarenga, 29, of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, acting Queens District Attorney John M. Ryan said in a statement Friday.
Ryan said that around midnight on May 31, 2017, video captured Alvarenga enter the deli, near 162nd Street and Station Road, and then exit it. Only 14 seconds later, Alvarenga stood in front of the victim, Fernando Gonzalez-Chavez, 39, who was crouching against a wall, before pulling the trigger, officials said.
“The defendant searched out the victim and when he found him, aimed a gun at his chest and fired a single shot,” Ryan said. “The victim died on a street corner on the side of a Queens deli. The defendant showed no remorse and no mercy. … At sentencing, this … defendant faces spending the rest of his days locked away from society.”
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 19, Ryan said. Alvarenga faces 25 years to life in prison, officials said.
Gonzalez-Chavez had stopped being an active member of MS-13, authorities said.
Ryan said the victim died at the scene within minutes after the “bullet ripped through both lungs, his aorta and his esophagus.”
Alvarenga fled the scene but was arrested on July 27, 2017, after police received a tip about the shooting, Ryan said.
Alvarenga's attorney could not be reached for comment Friday evening.