Suspect charged with murder after fatal hit and run in Astoria, Queens

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, November 10, 2023
Suspect charged with murder after fatal hit and run
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Police tracked down 24-year-old Zahir Williams in the Bronx Thursday.

ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) -- A suspect has been charged with murder in connection with a deadly hit-and-run incident last month in Queens.

Police tracked down 24-year-old Zahir Williams in the Bronx Thursday.

He was wanted for the October 20 death of Francis Ortega.

The 50-year-old Brooklyn man was intentionally run down and left for dead following a street dispute in Astoria.

Surveillance video recovered by detectives showed an earlier verbal dispute escalated to the point where Williams and at least one other man beat up Ortega in the early morning hours at Astoria Boulevard South and Steinway Street.

As he lay injured on the ground, police say, Williams' BMW appeared to intentionally run over Ortega.

The victim was pronounced dead at Elmhurst Hospital

Investigators say Williams ditched the BMW and fled on foot.

He has been charged with murder, gang assault and vehicular assault.

Detectives are still looking into what sparked the initial argument between the victim and driver.

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