NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Police said the three people found shot to death inside a car near Columbia University may have been killed for stealing from drug dealers. On Friday afternoon, police released surveillance video of a suspect.
WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman On The Story
A passerby noticed the victims inside the car and told an officer nearby. The scene was just across from a Columbia campus building on West 122nd Street near Broadway and in front of the Independent Manhattan School of Music.
Killed were 30-year-old Amaury Rodriguez, 26-year-old Heriberto Suazo and 25-year-old Louis – aka Patrick – Catalan, according to police. The victims were the driver and front passenger and a back seat passenger, police said.
Catalan was an up-and-coming rapper who went by the name “Lou Banger.”
“Was he in the wrong place at the wrong time, do you think?” CBS 2′s Pablo Guzman asked Catalan’s uncle Joe Castellar.
“There were two other guys, we don’t know them,” Castellar said. “One name sounds familiar, I think it’s a guy who he was familiar with, but I’m not sure.”
Suazo was recently arrested in Yonkers with a large amount of marijuana, Guzman reported. He was shot in the back of the head.
Rodriguez had 25 prior arrests, mostly for marijuana, Guzman reported. He was on parole until March 2015. He was shot in the right side of the neck and the shoulder, through the upper chest.
Catalan was arrested 10 times as a minor, Guzman reported. He was shot in the left temple and in the left arm going into his chest.
There were no bullet holes discovered on the outside of the vehicle. Friday morning, police said the shootings occurred inside the car. Investigators also found that the registration and plates on the BMW don’t match, according to police.
Catalan’s family said he left the house in his mother’s Mercedes and don’t know anything about a BMW.
Police ruled out any connection between the murders and Columbia University, although the school did alert students Thursday night.
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