Police ID Alleged Shooter in Raphael Ward Murder Case

Timothy Montalvo.

There are new details to pass along this evening concerning the Raphael Ward murder investigation. Today 16-year old Timothy Montalvo made an initial court appearance. He was charged with second degree murder and two counts of  weapons possession in connection with the fatal shooting of Ward on Friday night.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said today that police believe Montalvo furnished the murder weapon to 20-year old Walter Rodriguez.  Police have not yet arrested Rodriguez and two other suspects who were seen in a convenience store security tape.

“This was a dispute, possible retaliation, over jackets being stolen earlier that evening,” Kelly said.  According to investigators, the violent chain of events began Friday when a group (including Ward) was accused of stealing a winter coat.  A second group based above East Houston Street, including the cousin of the teen whose coat was swiped, came to Columbia Street intent on stealing Ward’s coat in order to get even.

Tonight the Post has details from the criminal complaint against Montalvo.  Prosecutors say he confessed to playing a role in the shooting. “I saw the guy (Rodriguez) shoot the kid,” Montalvo allegedly told cops. “I brought the gun, and I handed the gun to him before he shot him.”

Montalvo is being held without bail.  He’s scheduled back in court January 24; a grand jury has been convened to hear evidence in the case.


Raphael Ward to Be Memorialized Tomorrow Night With Basketball Tournament & Performance Showcase

Photos of Raphael Ward are part of a memorial on Columbia Street, near where the teen was shot and killed.

We received the following email from Judith Sam, director of youth services at Grand Street Settlement. The social services agency is located just a few steps away from the location in which Raphael Ward was shot and killed:

Classmates and family of Raphael Sadonte Ward, a 16-year-old fatally shot last Friday, will join together to honor the teenager with a basketball tournament and tribute performance showcase, organized by his high school peers and supported by local community organizations and politicians.  Immediately after the 6pm showcase and ball tournament to honor a teenager who loved sports, on Friday, January 11, Lower East Side youth will lead the adults – parents, teachers, neighbors, and community – in a memorial procession from the indoor ball court to the makeshift vigil, now crowded with hundreds of lit candles and handmade cards, marking where the tragic incident took place.  Details remain unclear surrounding the series of events that led to the fatal shooting of Raphael Sadonte Ward on Friday, January 4, in a convenience store on Columbia Street, across from the housing development where Ward lived with his family.  Inez Tucker, a family member of Ward, described the shooting as “senseless” and asked, simply, “when is it going to stop?”  In the wake of several high-profile incidents involving gun violence, Tucker and others are left wondering how to prevent further loss of life.  Many in the Lower East Side and beyond are calling on elected officials to strengthen gun control laws and to find community-driven solutions to end the cycle of violence.  “It’s too easy to get guns on the streets,” noted one parent, who was far from alone in her outrage and joined by an entire community in remembering a young life cut too short.

The event will take place at Grand Street Settlement, 80 Pitt Street, from 6-9 p.m.  Click through to see the event flyer.

Living Theatre Opens Last Show on Clinton Street

86 year old Judith Malina and the Living Theatre will be moving out of their home on Clinton Street next month, but not before putting on one last show for us.  Their latest production, Here We Are opens tonight and will run through February.  It promises to stay true to the spirit of non-violent, anarchist/experimental theater they have been producing for over sixty years.

In the show, the international (and multi-generational) company “visits the Anarchist collectives of France, Spain and The Ukraine for the 19th and 20th centuries, and finds (them)selves transported to an immersive and participatory underground outdoor/indoor crossroads of our present moment. The ensemble and the audience work together to manufacture and perform the potential creative possibilities for a post revolutionary world of beauty and non violence.”

Two Bridges Neighborhood Council Meets With Pathmark Execs

The Cherry Street Pathmark is now closed.

As most everyone knows by now, the Cherry Street Pathmark store closed in the waning days of 2012, leaving thousands of residents without a full-service grocery store.  Yesterday the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council sent out an email blast updating its efforts to fill the fresh-food gap on the Lower East Side.

On Monday, Two Bridges and its consultant, Urbane Development LLC, met with Sam Martin, the head of Pathmark parent company A&P. The meeting took place at the company’s headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey.  According to the email, the A&P team made it clear “they are sensitive to the void the departure of the Cherry Street Pathmark leaves in the Lower East Side/Two Bridges community, both from a food access and community facility perspective.”

Morning Reads: Ferry Accident, Gun Control, “A New Street”

Investigators search for answers after yesterday’s ferry accident at Pier 11 (NYT).

Following an incident at the Wald Houses in November, a cop may not be able to return to work (Daily News).

Sheldon Silver is optimistic about a deal on gun control legislation in Albany (Daily News).

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment on the LES in the 4th quarter was around $2300 (Real Deal).

The Sixteenth Street Synagogue appears to have lost the battle to stay in its historic home (Observer).

The Lower East Side gets “A New Street.” (NYT)


Teen Arrested in Raphael Ward Murder; Fight Breaks Out at Funeral Home

Raphael Ward; photo via Facebook.

There was some news last night from the 7th Precinct’s Community Council meeting.  Captain Peter Venice announced one arrest had been made in connection with the murder of 16-year old Raphael Ward on Columbia Street six days ago.  This morning the Post is reporting the name of the suspect in custody. He is Timothy Montalvo, also 16-years old.

According to the Post, Montalvo is one of four teens seen on surveillance video shortly before the fatal shooting happened Friday night.  He has been charged with criminal possession of a weapon and murder.  At last night’s meeting, a detective working on the case talked briefly about the arrest, explained that investigators are following up on a lot of leads and  said they’re confident more arrests will be happening soon.  The tragedy, he added, “confirms that there are too many guns on the street.”

Good Morning!

Skater (Lomo)

Somewhere in the East Village. Photo by Roey Ahram.

Sunny skies today with a high of 47.

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