Man found fatally shot inside pickup truck on Washington Bridge

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Friday, July 15, 2022
Vigil held for man found fatally shot inside pickup truck on NYC bridge
A 41-year-old man was found fatally shot inside his red pickup truck on the Washington Bridge Wednesday night. CeFaan Kim has more on the vigil for the victim, Eduardo Bonilla.

MORRIS HEIGHTS, Bronx (WABC) -- A 41-year-old man was found fatally shot inside his red pickup truck on the Washington Bridge Wednesday night.

The victim, Eduardo Bonilla, was found around 10:40 p.m. inside his custom Dodge truck, which crashed into the guardrail on the eastbound side of the bridge that connects Washington Heights with the Bronx.

Authorities say Bonilla, who co-owned an auto body shop, was shot in the left armpit and taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

No arrests were immediately made.

The motive is currently unknown, and it was unclear if Bonilla was targeted for his vehicle or if road rage could have been involved.

The NYPD has recovered surveillance video showing a dark colored sedan pulling up to and then alongside the victim's vehicle.

Five .380 caliber shell casings were located near where the video was taken, just before the bridge.

The sedan is suspicious, but it is unknown if that is where the shooting occurred.

A friend found the victim's truck crashed on the bridge and called police.

The victim was still alive at the time but died at the hospital.

The shots appear to have been fired through the passengers side of the truck.

The victim, known as "Chino," was a bit of a neighborhood hero, and friends and a community of south Bronx auto body workers were devastated, crying and hugging and leaving candles at the shop he co-owned.

"It's kind of rough because nobody expected this, and it's sad," friend Alex Lobo said.

Bonilla loved bikes and specialized in outfitting cars with massive speakers, and his red pickup truck was no exception.

"He was a very loving person," friend Steven Torres said. "You know, this is real hard for a lot of people. He helped everyone. He gave people opportunity. There's times where he would, for free, you know, just help you."

The other co-owner, Alfonso Lopez, who spoke to Eyewitness News in Spanish, said Chino loved giving people from the streets jobs and opportunities to earn some honest money.

He said Chino was a good man who gave people in need of a second chance an opportunity to make an honest living, and it didn't matter if they had troubled pasts. He was known as a peacemaker.

He fixed his friends' cars, dirt bikes and other vehicles for free if they couldn't afford it.

One friend said he fixed her jet ski and refused to take her money, but happily accepted a home cooked meal in return.

He was said to be a devoted dad, the last person in the world they'd expect to become a victim.

The Washington Bridge has been the site of previous violence.

A year ago, nearly to the day, three carjackers riding dirt bikes shot a Bronx-bound driver multiple times in the head, stealing his red 2020 Hyundai.

That victim survived.

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