Fourth shooting suspect, MS-13 member, arrested

Southold Town police lead the three shooting suspects into Southold Town Justice Court Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)
Southold Town police lead the three shooting suspects into Southold Town Justice Court Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

A 16-year-old alleged MS-13 gang member from Southold was arrested Thursday at Southampton Hospital, where he was being treated for a gunshot wound following the Tuesday morning shooting incident on South Harbor Road, town police said.

Freddie Fernando Torres Campos  was shot in the left ankle by a .22 caliber bullet fired by a member of his own gang, police said. He was admitted into the hospital the day of the shooting, they said.

Mr. Torres Campos faces two counts of first-degree assault. He is being held overnight at Southold Town Police Headquarters and will be arraigned Friday morning, police said.

Three fellow members of the MS-13 street gang were previously arrested in connection with the shooting. They are Pedro Emilio Santamaria, 31 of Greenport; Jeremias Nathanael Recinos Torres, 19, of Aquebogue; and Walter Vasquez, 17, of Greenport, police said.

Mr. Santamaria and Mr. Recinos Torres were additionally charged with criminal possession of a weapon, police said. Mr. Recinos Torres and Mr. Vasquez are both in the United States illegally and are currently in removal proceedings, police said.

The three men were arraigned Wednesday in Southold Town Justice Court. They are each being held on $250,000 cash bail or $750,000 bond. Judge Rudolph Bruer presided. They’re due back in Southold Town Justice Court Friday.

A responding officer spotted Mr. Santamaria and Mr. Recinos Torres in a parked vehicle a short distance from the scene, police said. The officer found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in the vehicle.

Police brought both men into custody and, during the investigation, discovered Mr. Vasquez was also involved. Authorities arrested Mr. Vasquez at Greenport High School, where he is a student, police said.

The violence occurred just past midnight Tuesday and stemmed from a dispute that occurred at Third Street Park in Greenport Oct. 10, police said. The victims, whose identities have not been released, are allegedly members of Mara-18, or 18th Street, a rival street gang, police said.

The victims were walking along Route 25 and South Harbor Road, where they both live, when they were spotted by the MS-13 members Tuesday, police said. The MS-13 members ambushed the victims, police said, and as many as five shots were fired from a .22-caliber handgun. One victim was attacked with a machete, police said.

The two victims were reported in stable condition Wednesday, according to a Peconic Bay Medical Center spokesperson.

The MS-13 gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, originated in Los Angeles and comprises Central Americans commonly from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, according to the federal Department of Justice.

Its main rival is the “18th Street” gang, also known as M-18 or Mara-18, which also is made up of those with ties to Central America, according to the department.

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