Photo Courtesy of DOC
Victim Jonathan Narain
By Michael V. Cusenza
A St. Albans man has been charged with murder in the shooting death of an off-duty City Department of Correction officer who was on his way to work, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said on Sunday.
Gifford Hunter, 30, was arraigned on Monday on a criminal complaint charging him with second-degree murder and two counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was remanded to DOC custody.
According to the charges and published reports, Hunter killed Jonathan Narain, 27, last Friday in South Richmond Hill in a fit of road rage. Following a brief altercation around 1:35 a.m., Hunter, riding a motorcycle, pulled up next to Narain’s car at the intersection of 120th Street and 103rd Avenue and allegedly fired into the vehicle, striking the Jamaica resident once in the left temple.
“This was a cold-hearted and senseless act of violence that will not be tolerated in Queens County,” Brown said. “My office will continue to work tirelessly to combat the proliferation of illegal guns in our community and will vigorously prosecute those who disobey our laws.”
Gifford’s next court date is scheduled for Oct. 10. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison.