Police ID alleged gang member wanted in Bronx homicide, Manhattan shooting

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Police have released the identity of a reputed gang member with 30 prior arrests who is wanted in connection with a homicide in the Bronx and a shooting in Manhattan.

Authorities say Ruben "Chullo" Pizarro is considered armed and very dangerous, and detectives fear he will strike again. He has been arrested 23 times, several of those for attempted murder, but he was able to beat the charge each time. Now, authorities say they have video evidence that could put Pizarro away for good.

"Ruben Pizarro is a charismatic guy," police Lieutenant Richard Gibson said. "Ruben Pizarro is a guy that you could speak to like we are speaking right now. And when you look at him, you are not looking in the face of a stone-cold killer. You're looking at the face of a regular guy that you would talk to on the street every single day."

Police say Pizarro fatally shot 24-year-old David Rivera in broad daylight along Crotona Park North in the Bronx on November 24, the result of an ongoing dispute.

"Our homicide occurred at 9 o'clock in the morning in front of a daycare center, where the backdrop in the actual where he was shooting and committed the actual homicide was the wall to daycare center," Gibson said.

Then, on New Year's Eve, they say he jumped into a Ford van parked on Sherman Avenue in Inwood, pulled a gun on the driver and ordered him to take him to his target.

He allegedly held onto the driver's license, debit card and other identification to ensure his victim's compliance.

According to authorities, he found his target -- a 29-year-old man - on Elwood Street and opened fire. As he fled, he allegedly stole the man's bag, which held a PlayStation 4.

The victim survived the shooting and reportedly told detectives he did not know why he was targeted by Pizarro.

Pizarro is accused of forcing his carjacked driver to take him up to the Bronx, where he finally let him go.

Another caught-on-camera incident happened in May of 2013, when police say he pulled out a gun and fired seemingly at random.

"We had a person come in, a witness come into it and identify Ruben as the shooter," Gibson said. "And then once it came time for court, he just refused to cooperate."

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS.

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