39-year-old man arraigned in deadly Upper East Side bodega shooting

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Friday, March 10, 2023
39-year-old man arraigned in deadly Upper East Side bodega shooting
39-year-old Kimond Cyrus was arraigned on murder charges after being arrested Thursday night - and more charges may be soon to come. Darla Miles has the details.

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- The man accused of shooting and killing a bodega worker on the Upper East Side appeared in court Friday.

39-year-old Kimond Cyrus was arraigned on murder charges Friday after being arrested Thursday night.

He appeared calm as prosecutors detailed the crimes he is accused of and pleaded not guilty to first degree murder in the death of 67-year-old Sueng Choi.

Prosecutors say Cyrus shot and killed the deli worker during a robbery at Daona Deli on the Upper East Side last Friday.

They revealed chilling details about the armed robbery, saying Cyrus held a gun to a customer's head while demanding money from the clerk.

He then let the customer go. That customer ran out, only to hear a single shot coming from inside the deli.

Prosecutors say the bullet went through the Choi's hand and into his head, most likely from shielding himself.

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More charges against Cyrus may be soon to come.

He is believed to have been targeting bodegas across the city since February 25th, hitting four in total. The trail of evidence is long.

"I heard that they were going to execute search warrant today, it sounds to me like they haven't recovered anything, so I don't know what they have and what they don't have," said public defender Adam Friedman.

Police believe they have got the gun used in Choi's murder, plus the getaway scooter and the Tyvek suit the suspect was allegedly wearing in surveillance video from the various robberies.

The suit was found Tuesday night behind a building on Park Avenue near East 158th Street in the Bronx, near the YaYa Deli, which the suspect is believed to have held up after the fatal shooting.

Detectives found the suit after tracking the suspect through footage from numerous surveillance cameras, which showed him - still riding a dark colored scooter - go behind the building.

And Eyewitness News has now learned prosecutors have his voice as well, with a distinct accent on that video.

Cyrus's defense lawyer calls the evidence circumstantial.

But customers of the deli where the worker was shot and killed are calling for no mercy as the wheels of justice turn.

A small memorial sits at the bodega with kind handwritten notes to the victim.

One note read: "Thank you for my late night sandwiches and always remembering the light chipotle mayo." And "I pray for your family and everyone who loves you..the city is not the same without you."

This is not Cyrus' first run-in with the law. He was convicted of second degree assault in 2003 and paroled in Sept. 2004. He had a "conditional release to immigration," with his status following that unclear.

The United Bodega Workers of America held several rallies this week calling for change in the judicial system.

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