An alleged member of the MS-13 street gang, who pleaded guilty to a pair of shootings in Hempstead in 2020, including one that left a bystander dead, was sentenced Thursday to 20 years to life in prison, Nassau County prosecutors said.

Denis Gutierrez-Marcos, 20, of Hempstead, pleaded guilty on Feb. 9 before acting Supreme Court Justice Tammy Robbins to one count each of second-degree murder in the death of Edwin Guerrero Hernandez; second-degree attempted murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

“In September 2020, Edwin Guerrero Hernandez, seeing a commotion between his friend and the defendant, tried to intervene and was shot and killed,” said Nassau District Attorney Anne Donnelly. “The deadly encounter did not stop the defendant’s violent behavior and the next month he fired on a group of people, nearly killing another victim. Denis Gutierrez-Marcos is a dangerous individual, and thankfully with today’s sentence, he will no longer terrorize our communities.”

William Shanahan, Gutierrez-Marcos' Mineola-based defense attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

The fatal shooting occurred shortly before 4 a.m. on Sept. 6, when Gutierrez-Marcos shot a passenger of the taxi that he was also riding in near High Street in Hempstead, prosecutors said. The victim, who was struck in the shoulder, fell backward and Gutierrez-Marcos told the driver to leave the scene, authorities said.

Hernandez, a friend of the shooting victim, witnessed the incident, chased the taxi and attempted to open the front passenger door, prosecutors said. Gutierrez-Marcos fired through the taxi’s open window, fatally shooting Hernandez, prosecutors said.

More than a month later, on Oct. 23, Gutierrez-Marcos was a passenger in another vehicle when he fired into a group of people standing on Jackson Street in Hempstead, prosecutors said. One victim was struck in the arm while another was struck in the stomach, officials said. Both survived the attack.

Gutierrez-Marcos fled, but was arrested in June 2021, prosecutors said.

Latest videos

Newsday LogoDON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access