Police ID Alleged Shooter in Raphael Ward Murder Case

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.