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Mamaroneck Daily Voice serves Larchmont & Mamaroneck

Man Charged In Mount Vernon Murder Was Waiting For Victim

The Mount Vernon parking lot where Michael Anthony Santiago was murdered.
There are several Mount Vernon schools in the immediate vicinity of the crime scene.

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – A 35-year-old Bronx resident has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder after gunning down another Bronx native with a shotgun in Mount Vernon.

According to Mount Vernon Police Commissioner Terrance Raynor, Kamau Kiarie has been arrested for the murder of Michael Anthony Santiago, 26, who was allegedly on his way to an ex girlfriend’s apartment to retrieve some of his belongings.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Santiago was walking in the parking lot near 22 Sheridan Avenue, where Kiarie was waiting for him, police said. Police officers in the area heard several blasts, and immediately responded to the scene, where Kiarie immediately laid on the ground with his hands on his head and surrendered himself.

According to reports, Kiarie, a convicted sex offender, had a warrant out for his arrest. Some neighbors suspected that the murder may have been jealousy fueled, and that the two were ensnarled in a love triangle, but that theory has since been nixed by police.

No matter the motivation, which remains under investigation, neighbors have been rattled by the violent, premeditated, murder.

“It’s frightening to think that someone was just walking along our streets and then he got shot several times over with a shotgun,” Kristen Vasquez said on Wednesday. “Something has to be done to stop these types of things.”

Initial reports that the victim was a Mount Vernon High School student were ultimately proven unfounded. Even so, the scene of the crime is within the vicinity of several city schools.

“A crisis intervention team was launched to assist students who may need help in understanding the news,” interim Superintendent Judith Johnson said. “The team will visit Holmes, Traphagen and the Mount Vernon High School.”

The investigation into Santiago’s murder is ongoing, as police continue to search for motive.

Has this incident made you weary of walking Mount Vernon streets? Continue the conversation in the comments section.

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