NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The ex-boyfriend of a Bronx mother who was killed by a stray bullet is heading to City Hall Thursday to demand action, saying the neighborhood where she was gunned down needs more protection.
Angel Rosario, who is also the father of Cindy Diaz’s four sons, is asking the mayor and city officials to do a better job to protect the public so her death won’t be in vain.
“I gotta make something negative into something positive,” Rosario said. “And that’s my goal.”
Rosario and other family members gathered in front of City Hall Thursday, calling for Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city leaders to support the community in safety efforts.
“The change needs to happen so that people think about other people,” Rosario said. “I want them to say, ‘Mom died but she made a difference. She made the neighborhoods better.'”
Rosario expected to be joined by activist Tony Herbert, who set up the press conference. Herbert never showed up, and told CBS2 he was sick.
“What I want to see done is more lighting, more policing, you know for the families that are out there. For the supermoms, to protect them,” Rosario said. “Because we have to protect our supermoms, which is what Cindy was.”
It was last Friday when the 48-year-old Diaz was walking home after picking up dinner for her sons when police said she was hit by a stray bullet along Boston Post Road in the Bronx.
Investigators are still searching for a man who they think may be connected to her killing. Police said he was seen on surveillance video walking away from the scene of the shooting and is wanted for questioning.
The City Council member representing the district announced this week that $525,000 has been allocated to be spent on safety improvements, including installing new NYPD surveillance cameras in the area and better lighting, CBS2’s Janelle Burrell reported.
“This horrific tragedy has our entire community speechless and we must act now in order to prevent future acts of violence,” Councilman Ritchie Torres said in a statement. “By allocating more resources for safety improvements and pedestrian security, and by working together with the NYPD and community leaders, we hope to curb criminal activity in West Farms.”
“They knew it was like that. If they had allocated a year ago and put those lights there, that wouldn’t have happened,” Rosario said.
However, the NYPD said that money was secured and spent in 2016 on cameras already installed throughout the Bronx.
Torres also said he’s asked the Department of Transportation to conduct a lighting study to determine where new light fixtures will go.
The mayor wouldn’t comment on the issue during a Brooklyn press conference on affordable housing Thursday, because he wasn’t taking off-topic questions.
However, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez put the question to de Blasio earlier this week.
Sanchez: I’m just wondering what you would say to the family, to the father of those children about what can be done to improve safety.
De Blasio: First of all, my heart goes out to the family…I’ll get back to you on what we think we need in that location. But the number one point is, if we think there is something that we think is not being addressed sufficiently, we will add addition police presence.
For Rosario and their sons, it’s a first step but they say it will take the city and the community working together to bring about more permanent change.
The NYPD said crime in the 48th Precinct where Diaz was killed went down 13 percent in 2016. Nevertheless, the department has stepped up security in the area, adding a command post and additional light towers.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward upon an arrest and indictment while the NYPD is offering $7,500 upon the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782), visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.