Burger King murder: Distinctive belt led cops to person of interest in killing of 19-year-old Kristal Bayron-Nieves in East Harlem - WABC-TV

1 week ago 14

EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- A person of interest is being questioned in the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old cashier at a Burger King in East Harlem.

The unidentified 30-year-old man was picked up by detectives in Brooklyn on Thursday. No charges have been filed.

The family of 19-year-old Kristal Bayron-Nieves was told of the possible break in the case.

Police released a security camera video showing the suspect:

A distinctive belt and an EBT card led detectives to the man they believe fatally shot the 19-year-old Burger King cashier.

The man is believed to have actually worked at the same Burger King at some point in the past, although it is not believed he knew his victim.

Although most of his wardrobe at the time of the killing was non-descript, he was spotted wearing a distinctive "Guess" belt by detectives during an extensive canvass of surveillance video.

Detectives were able to match the belt to one he was wearing on a picture he posted on Instagram.

The man was also linked by an EBT card he used after the fatal shooting.

He is believed to have fled the scene on a number 6 subway train, taking it from 116th St to 110th Street.

He walked into a bodega off 110th Street, and instead of using the proceeds from the robbery, bought a fruit drink using his EBT card.

Detectives got his name from the card, and tracked him to a Days Inn near Kennedy Airport in Queens, which is currently being used as a shelter.

He was not caught there, instead nabbed while visiting a girlfriend Thursday on Patchen Avenue in Brooklyn.

Detectives are still looking for the .9 millimeter handgun used in the shooting.

He allegedly pistol-whipped the manager with the gun and also took the managers phone.

He then apparently shot the female cashier as she struggled to get the register open.

He has seven prior arrests in New York City.

Sunday's cold-blooded killing of a young person working a dangerous overnight shift to save money shocked many in the city.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams brought up the case Thursday while talking about unacceptable levels of crime.


"The 19-year-old baby that was shot, we have to catch that guy," said Adams. "And I refuse to apologize for people who are violent in our city. Those crimes, we are zeroing in on. And we are going to make sure they are taken off our street like the district attorney did with that gang takedown."

Adams, who previously said the murder was particularly senseless because the victim gave the suspect the $100 that was in the cash register, and he shot her anyway, once again expressed his outrage at the killing on Friday morning.

"I am so focused on stopping 19-year-old girls from being shot in Burger King," he said at an unrelated event in Queens.

The mayor said he has not received an update on the person of interest being questioned.

Bayron-Nieves had moved to New York from Puerto Rico with her mom, her 14-year-old brother and the family cat two years ago.

ALSO READ | Reward in killing of Burger King employee during robbery grows to $20,000

Family members are raising money to return her body there for burial. Family members are raising money to return her body there for burial.

A GoFundMe campaign had raised $24,000 as of Friday morning.

Her wake will be held next Tuesday.

Meantime, the reward posted in connection with the case stands at least $20,000.

Community activists gathered outside the Burger King Tuesday night where Bayron-Nieves was shot.

As Jim Dolan reported, they called for an end to the violence and their pleas were loud and filled with pain and grief.

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