A Queens man has pleaded guilty in the killing of a Valley Stream convenience store clerk last December, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Jermaine Jackson, of Queens Village, admitted to shooting Edwin Lopez as Lopez tried to push away the gun pointed at him during the Dec. 16, 2016, robbery at AL Mini Mart, prosecutors said.
Jackson made the admission at U.S. District Court in Central Islip for a routine court appearance on Dec. 6. His trial was scheduled to start in February.
Lopez, 36, of Oceanside, was found with a gunshot wound at the market, at 91 Ocean Ave. in Valley Stream, on the night of the shooting, according to police. He was rushed to nearby Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital, but was pronounced dead about an hour later. Police searched for the shooter, but did not arrest Jackson until March.
Jackson pleaded not guilty to a firearm-related murder charge and six other counts in federal court in Central Islip at the time of his arrest. Three of the charges related to an armed robbery Jackson allegedly committed on Dec. 9, 2016, at VIP Deli on Hillside Avenue in Queens Village, in which no injuries were reported.
Lopez co-owned AL Mini Mart with his brother, Alquimeda, 50, who lives in an attached apartment behind the store — where he was at the time of the shooting. He closed the bodega for about two weeks after Edwin’s death.
Neighbors and friends of the Lopez family left flowers, candles and handwritten signs in front of the mini mart after the shooting that said:
“God bless you, Edwin,” “Lloramos por tu pérdida [We grieve for your loss],” “Your community prays and cries over you. God bless.”