Surveillance shows possible suspect in murder near Columbia

June 8, 2012 9:26:33 PM PDT
Police have released surveillance video of the suspected gunman who is believed to have shot and killed three men, execution style, in a car in Morningside Heights near the campus of Columbia University. The video shows the suspect several blocks away from the car after the shooting.

All three of the victims have arrest records. Police are now working on the theory that these murders could be drug related.

Holding onto each other and overcome with grief, the family members of one victim had to come to the spot on West 122nd Street where their loved one was murdered, apparently an execution.

"All this is baffling. It is baffling to the family because? we don't know. We don't know," Jose Castellar, the victim's uncle said.

Castellar's nephew, 25-year old Patrick Catalan a.k.a. Luis, was shot sitting in the back seat on the passenger side. Eyewitness News has learned he has nine prior arrests.

30-year-old Amaury Rodriguez, who has 25 prior arrests and served prison time for possession of a weapon, was shot sitting in the driver's seat.

26-year-old Heriberto Suazo, with seven prior arrests including possession of a weapon, was shot sitting in the front passenger seat.

Police say the gunman was sitting in the back seat behind the driver. He opened and then left the car and walked away.

Suazo was arrested last year by Yonkers police. When they searched his car and later his apartment they say they found these bags marijuana and two handguns. At the apartment where his family lives, they would not open the door nor answer questions today.

Eyewitness News has learned that police are looking into whether the murders were revenge for the men having stolen from drug dealers.

"All of a sudden they are trying to connect it with a drug thing . I don't know my nephew to be involved in any of that stuff. As a matter of fact, he owns a business with his mother," Castellar said.

Detectives, who were back on the scene today, are said to be focusing on video from a number of security cameras in the area that could have picked up the shooter as he left the car.

A group of students held a short prayer service late Friday, placing flowers near the spot where the murders occurred.


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