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Long Island Teen Sentenced For Fatal Christmas Day Shooting

Antoine Foster
Antoine Foster Photo Credit: Nassau County DA

A Long Island teenager linked to the Bloods street gang will spend decades behind bars for the fatal 2017 Christmas Day shooting of a man who was walking to pick up his daughter at a train station.

Hempstead resident Antoine Foster, 19, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced. He pleaded guilty last October to first-degree manslaughter, a violent felony.

Singas noted that Shameq Sullins, also 19, of Hempstead, who also pleaded guilty to his role in the shooting, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter in December last year.

Singas said that at approximately 6:20 p.m. on Christmas Day in 2017 Foster and Sullins were standing in front of a Hempstead apartment complex when Foster, with Sullins acting as a lookout, fired multiple shots at a vehicle in the direction of Valley Stream resident Rafael Cepeda, 36, fatally striking him once in the chest.

At the time of the shooting, Cepeda, who was not the intended target, was leaving his apartment and walking to the nearby train station to pick up his young daughter. Both teenagers are associated with the Bloods street gang, Singas said.

The investigation by Nassau County Police led to the arrest of Sullins and Foster, who was tracked down by U.S. Marshals in Alexandria, Virginia, where he was staying with a family friend. The gun used in the shooting was never recovered.

“This defendant opened fire on a busy Hempstead street during rush hour, killing an innocent man who was going to the train station to pick up his daughter,” Singas said. “Senseless acts of gun violence like this have devastating consequences for our communities and cannot be tolerated. I hope today’s sentence brings some sense of closure to Mr. Cepeda’s family.”

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