Teen already held on murder charge busted for first 2021 NYC homicide

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A teen already in custody for a fatal shooting was charged this week with another murder — the first homicide of 2021, according to authorities and prosecutors. 

Richard Swygert, 19, of the Bronx, was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court Tuesday on second-degree murder and related charges in connection to the early Jan. 1 slaying of 20-year-old Robert Williams outside the Umbrella Hotel in Kew Gardens, prosecutors said

During the shooting — which police said erupted amid a fight between two groups of men — another 20-year-old man was shot and wounded in the left leg, while a 40-year-old man was critically injured.

Those two men were hospitalized.

The notorious hotel — which neighbors complained had become a hub for drugs, prostitution and violence — closed soon after the incident at the order of Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Swygert was also charged with two counts of second-degree attempted murder, assault in the first and second degree, and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, prosecutors said. 

A blood stained car outside the Umbrella Hotel in Kew Gardens where multiple people were shot on Jan. 1, 2021.
A bloodstained car outside the Umbrella Hotel in Kew Gardens where multiple people were shot on Jan. 1, 2021.
Dennis A. Clark

He is set to reappear in court on Nov. 29 and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted. 

“The defendant’s alleged actions led to the first homicide in New York City this year,” Queens DA Melinda Katz said in a statement. “Senseless shootings have brought grief and heartache to far too many families in our neighborhoods.”

“My Office will continue to work with our law enforcement and community partners to stop the proliferation of guns in Queens and to hold accountable perpetrators of gun violence.”

Swygert was already being held on a second-degree murder charge in connection to the early Aug. 13 slaying of 22-year-old Dominick Malivert — who was shot multiple times at the K-Show Bar on 138th Street in Flushing, according to a criminal complaint and police. 

Malivert died at New York-Presbyterian Hospital-Queens.

A 22-year-old woman was also shot in her right hand during the incident at the karaoke bar but was expected to survive, authorities said. 

When Swygert was arrested on Aug. 19, he provided an incorrect name and date of birth, according to a criminal complaint. 

The next day, he was ordered held without bail.

He is charged in that case with second-degree attempted murder, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and false personation.

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