The heartless violence gripping the city amid its public health, psychosocial and economic crises on Saturday took the life of an immigrant mother of three girls who was shot four times in the middle of afternoon, according to police and published reports.
Josefina Pérez De La Rosa, 37, was killed outside 32-17 97 St., just a few blocks from her home at 26-29 98 St. in East Elmhurst, police said. Officers responded to a 911 call reporting a woman shot at about 3:35 p.m., they said.
Emergency Medical Services transported Pérez to NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, where she was pronounced dead.
There had been no arrest reported as of Monday afternoon and police said the investigation was ongoing. According to one report posted on Facebook, Pérez’s family believes she was killed by “a man obsessed with her.” The Queens Chronicle could not ascertain the origin of the report, which was originally posted in Spanish.
Information reported about Pérez was not always consistent. The article on Facebook said she came to the United States from the Dominican Republic about seven years ago to seek a better life for her children, while the Daily News said she was from Spain. The story on Facebook said she had three daughters, while other media outlets have reported that she had two. The News said she owned her own cleaning company.
“Relatives and friends describe her as a positive woman with contagious joy,” the article said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in the name of Pérez and had raised $1,300 of its $5,000 goal by late Monday afternoon. The page did not say what purpose the money would serve but in cases of homicide or other sudden death they often are meant to defray funeral expenses, to assist surviving children or both.
“Josefina Pérez was shot and killed a couple of blocks from her home,” the organizer of the fundraiser, Livio Piedra, said in Spanish on the page. “Josefina was always very kind, very noble and she had no problems with anyone, unfortunately they took her life, leaving 3 girls.”
The Chronicle reached out to Piedra for more information on the fundraiser but did not hear back immediately.
“Rest in peace, friend, we will always remember you,” one contributor said, writing in Spanish. The donor, Cristian Tello, also posted a photo of Pérez.
The New York Post reported that Pérez was shot once in the chest, twice in the stomach and once in the pelvis. Police said her killer was wearing blue jeans and a beige jacket, according to the paper. Anyone with information about the slaying is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 577-TIPS (8477), or, for Spanish, 1 (888) 57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit tips by logging onto nypdcrimestoppers.com, or by texting 274637 (CRIMES) and then entering TIP577, or by going to @nypdtips on Twitter. All tips are strictly confidential.
Pérez’s murder was the third to occur in three days in Queens. The city’s first homicide of 2021 took place in Kew Gardens early Friday morning, when a 21-year-old man was shot dead outside the problematic Umbrella Hotel at 124-18 Queens Blvd. [see separate story at qchron.com]. And its last homicide of 2020 took place in South Jamaica late Thursday night, when a 26-year-old man was killed in front of 113-08 Sutphin Blvd.
Citywide, homicides rose 45 percent last year and shootings just about doubled.
This article has been updated to note that different reports cited different countries of origin for Josefina Pérez De La Rosa and that she owned a cleaning company. The subhead has been edited to reflect that.