March 14, 2021 By Christina Santucci
The family of a woman shot and killed in Astoria Friday night has received a massive outpouring of support with more than $30,000 raised for them in just one day.
A GoFundMe page was launched by the family of Gudelia Vallinas, 37, who was tragically killed by a stray bullet while she walking near the corner of 48th Street and Broadway Friday night. The fundraiser was set up to help the family pay for her funeral expenses.
Vallinas was an innocent bystander who was killed at around 8:30 p.m. when she got caught between two men who had an apparent altercation at the nearby Woodside Houses NYCHA development. The incident spilled out on the street, and one of the men ran down Broadway firing several shots.
One bullet struck Vallinas in the head, police said. Emergency responders brought her to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
A heartbreaking and senseless tragedy occurred last night as an apparent altercation at the Woodside Houses spilled out onto the street resulting in shots being fired two blocks from the development. An uninvolved woman was struck and killed – a tragic loss for our community.
— NYPD Housing PSA 9 (@NYPDPSA9) March 13, 2021
She was killed around the corner from where she lived while doing errands at Walgreens pharmacy, her family said.
Vallinas’ husband Alfredo wrote a tribute to his wife on the GoFundMe page.
“I can’t even find words to describe the pain we are going through. Everywhere she went she left a beautiful light of joy and hope,” he wrote. “She leaves behind 2 kids that were her everything.”
Vallinas, who was from Mexico, was the mother to an 11-year-old son and 9-year-old daughter.
Her father-in-law, Miguel, told the Queens Post that Vallinas was a proud woman. She was a “Dreamer,” he said, a recipient of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.
“It’s terrible,” he said, while standing at the corner where the shooting took place. Nearby, police tape hung from signposts and 10 religious candles were placed in Vallinas’ memory.
A Catholic church service in her honor is scheduled to be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Corpus Christi Church in Woodside, followed by a burial at Calvary Cemetery.
Vallinas’ father-in-law condemned gun violence in the neighborhood. “We need the guns out,” he said.
Meanwhile, several elected officials called for action.
In a statement, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said the shooting was part of “a disturbing rise of shootings in our borough.”
He called for an expansion of the city’s crisis management system. The system deploys “violence interrupters” to deescalate disputes and work with high-risk individuals.
“My heart is with Gudelia Vallinas’ family. My office reached out to her family, and we are ready to be a partner in the fight for justice,” Richards said.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the district where the shooting took place, also expressed his condolences on social media. “We mourn the tragic loss of Gudelia Vallinas, killed last night in our district as the result of gun violence. This senseless violence must end,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, NYPD officials described the incident as “heartbreaking”- and “a tragic loss to the community.”
Commissioner Dermot Shea tweeted that Vallinas was yet another victim of “senseless gun violence.”