[Editor’s Note: Post originally appeared on SILive.com, where I was a breaking news intern from January to August 2016. Co-written with the SI Advance’s Social Media Reporter and Personality Shane DiMaio.]
“I used to argue with him because of how verbally abusive he was to his son — he’s mental.”
That’s what a neighbor said about 49-year-old Anthony Morales — the alleged killer of Idelle Rivera, 47, and her son, Anthony Rivera, 21, who both died after being shot in the face in Mariners Harbor Thursday.
A 22-year-old, Jose Ramirez, was also shot in the leg three times, but is expected to survive.
Police released the photo and name of Morales who is wanted in connection to the murders of the mother and son because of an alleged car deal gone bad with Anthony Rivera as a possible motive, a police source told the Advance. Morales lives in the same complex as the Riveras.
An NYPD flier posted on social media describes him as the “perpetrator” in their murders.
“When they showed the picture of the guy who did it, I was in shock,” said the neighbor, who preferred to remain anonymous. “To tell you the truth, as much as I couldn’t stand this man, I didn’t think he could ever do this.
“It’s a shame. I just pray to God that they get him.”
The woman, who lives on the fifth floor of the same building as the victims, reflected on the type of person Idelle “Dee Dee” Rivera was.
“Beautiful woman,” the neighbor said of Idelle. “She would come upstairs every morning and have a cigarette with me. She didn’t bother anybody, she was friendly and fun with everybody.
“She was a good mother — she was great.”
The neighbor also described her late son to be a fun-loving, sarcastic man.
“Anthony [Rivera] was a good kid,” the neighbor continued. “He used to bother us, tease us. He was a joker.”
A shrine of lit candles, flowers and a poster marked the entrance of the Riveras’ building Friday afternoon.
There is a $2,500 reward for information leading to Morales’ arrest and indictment.
Morales may be driving a black, 2013 Hyundai Elantra with Pennsylvania plates, according to the flier.
He is about 5-foot-9, weighs about 200 pounds and was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt, tan cargo pants and black shoes, according to police.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-8477 (TIPS), submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers’ website or by texting their tips to CRIMES (274637), then entering TIP577.
Officers responded at around 6:11 p.m. on Thursday to the shooting in front of 14 Roxbury St., outside the Mariners Harbor Houses, police said.
The mother and son were fatally shot in the head and face.
They were pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton. and
Anthony Rivera was gunned down less that 24 hours before he was set to begin a new job as a security guard at Richmond University Medical Center in West Brighton, his father, Tony Pena, told the Daily News.
“He was so happy. He was going to get a new job and go forward in life.”
The deaths mark the first instances of fatal gunplay on Staten Island this year. The previous 10 homicides were either stabbings or beatings.