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Massive Outpouring of Support for Family of Woman Killed by Stray Bullet in Astoria

Candles were placed at the corner of Broadway and 48th Street in memory of Gudelia Vallinas. (Photo: Christina Santucci)

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.

She was killed around the corner from where she lived while doing errands at Walgreens pharmacy, her family said.

Gudelia Vallinas (Facebook)

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.

Gudelia Vallinas’ father-in-law Miguel points to the corner where she was killed.

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.”

Police tape hangs from a signpost where the fatal shooting took place.

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7 Comments

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Debbie klein

I remember her as security guard for a short time in my office on 37 street in Jackson heights What a tragedy

Reply
Joe Gonzalez

At the time of the 1995 merger of the old NYC Housing Authority police, 2,700 NYCHA cops were merged into NYPD and NYCHA residents were told by NYC Officialdom that there would be no reduction of NYCHA police patrols.

Today the NYPD Housing Bureau has 1,800 police officers. That adds up to a net loss of 900 cops patrolling NYCHA. Is there a connection between 900 less cops and the massive crime wave hitting NYCHA.

Bring back the 2,700 officer NYCHA police department.

Reply
Frances

How low his I.Q. must be to say that …. The system deploys “violence interrupters” to deescalate disputes and work with high-risk individuals. How can N.Y.C. have such low standards in hiring people for these positions !?!?? ATROCIOUS !!!!

Reply
rikki

9 out of 10 the shooter had priors and is a lifetime criminal with a 6th grade reading level, wh0 never should have been released.

Reply
Owen May

Never discount the happenings on our border with Mexico right now with “the growing incidence of senseless violence” happening in NYC and Queens. Certainly, this incident may have no such connection or inspiration. But that’s not to say that any new immigrant shouldn’t be held to a legal standard of admission to this country along with the scrutiny entailed in that standard. The point: keep an eye on the border story — if you can even find it in New York newspaper you may read 1700 miles from that border. That border may ultimately have everything to do with your peace and happiness.

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Observer

This is so tragic and should never happen. Families are being destroyed by these gun toting marauders. We need more police walking the beat, our neighborhoods are being terrorized, stores are being held up, homeless are camped out in bank vestibules.

Reply
Anonymous

While the weather was warmer and these young thugs that hang out in groups at the Woodside Houses with impunity due to absolutely no Police patrols. And another poor innocent bystander and family now must mourn. And the Police at the scene blaming the Politicians for the rise in gun violence is just insane.

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