Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the sentencing of HECTOR RIVERA, 38, to 17 years in state prison for shooting a 23-year-old man multiple times in Harlem in 2021. On August 28, 2023, a New York State Supreme Court jury found RIVERA guilty of all of the counts in the indictment against him: one count of Attempted Murder in the Second Degree; one count of Assault in the First Degree; and two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree.
“This prison sentence is commensurate with the devastating injuries Hector Rivera inflicted on a Harlemite,” said District Attorney Bragg. “As a jury of his peers found in this all-count conviction, he plotted for more than two months before executing his attack. I hope today’s sentencing can bring some peace to the victim.”
As proven at trial, RIVERA and the victim were acquainted through social media but had minimal communication in January of 2021. In early February of 2021, RIVERA texted multiple friends claiming he had been assaulted and had to receive stitches for his split lip at the hospital. Over the next several hours, he grew increasingly upset and began taking screenshots of the victim’s social media accounts to track him down, believing the victim was responsible for the assault. He also plotted to obtain a firearm for retaliation.
On April 17, 2021, the victim was hanging out in Harlem. For approximately 13 minutes, RIVERA followed the victim around and scoped out the scene while carrying a loaded firearm. At approximately 6:30 p.m., near the intersection of West 133rd Street and Lenox Avenue, the victim tried to hail a cab. RIVERA approached the victim from behind and fired three shots from behind the hood of a parked car.
The shots hit the victim in his upper right shoulder — going through his chest — and lower back, fracturing his spine and injuring his bowels. He received two major surgeries and spent several weeks hospitalized.
RIVERA fled the scene and was arrested nearly two months later in Brooklyn, wearing the same sneakers from the shooting.
Assistant D.A.s Rachel Polisner and Kaleigh Shea (Trial Bureau 40) handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Meghan Hast (VCEU), Christopher Prevost (Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit), and Robert Ferrari (Chief of Trial Bureau 40), and Executive D.A. Lisa DelPizzo (Chief of the Trial Division). Trial Preparation Assistant Sarah Rogers (Trial Bureau 40) and Investigative Analyst Jonathan Diver (VCEU) provided valuable assistance.
D.A. Bragg thanked the NYPD, especially Detective Daniel Wadolowski and the entire 32nd Precinct.
- Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, a class B felony, one count
- Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
- 17 years in state prison