Suffolk police arrested Troy Arrighi, 37, of 400 E. 30th St., Thursday at his home in connection with the death of Mario Andujar, 30, on March 22, 1994, at Diamond Trucking Co., police said.
Andujar and another mechanic, Juan Garcia, were working on a truck in a bay in back of the business when two men in black ski masks confronted them, police said in 1994.
The criminal complaint said Arrighi entered Diamond Trucking with a loaded .38 revolver and demanded money. Arrighi told investigators that he killed Andujar, shooting him twice in the chest, the complaint said. He was also charged with first-degree attempted robbery.
In a Newsday story about the shooting and attempted robbery, Garcia said he thought it was a joke when he saw the two masked men.
"I thought they were joking, so I said 'Yeah, right.' One of them said, 'You think I'm joking?' He shot me in the leg," said Garcia.
Garcia said he was bleeding, lying in a chair, when the men shot Andujar, who died at the scene.
Andujar was married at the time of his death and had three daughters, ages 10, 5 and 2, the Newsday story said.
Arrighi was to be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Central Islip.
Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Homicide Squad, said as the investigation is ongoing he could not reveal the circumstances that led to Arrighi's arrest.
"Clearly, we are looking for a second guy," he said.
Fitzpatrick acknowledged that Arrighi also has used the last name of Schwartz and spent some time in California.
Fitzpatrick praised detectives working the case, calling them dedicated and describing their investigation into a nearly 20-year-old murder as "difficult."
"It was a cold case," he said, noting police also have had a difficult time trying to contact family members of the deceased.
He also said police thought the company where Andujar had worked was "out of business."
A number listed for Diamond Trucking was not in service Friday.
Arrighi had used the last names of Schwartz and Cortez, said Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota. He also is known as "Red" for the color of his hair, Clifford said.
Under the Schwartz surname, Arrighi served nearly eight years in prison for burglary and attempted burglary, from June 2000 to March 2008, according to the New York State Department of Corrections. He also served more than two years, from September 2010 to November 2012, for auto stripping, records show.
With Ellen Yan