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On New Year’s Day in 2011, Miguel Padilla shot a semiautomatic pistol several times at a Chevy Impala following a dispute over a parking space. The shots did not strike the victim, but instead hit a 13-year-old boy who was a passenger in a nearby minivan. The gunshots shattered the rear window of the minivan and grazed the boy’s head.
The boy has since made a full recovery, and today, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office announced that Padilla, more than one year later, is being sentenced to 17 years in state prison.
Padilla, 45, was charged with firing a weapon multiple times in East Harlem with the intent to kill. On Jan. 11 this year, he pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the second degree, attempted assault in the first degree, and assault in the second degree.
Padilla, who has a long rap sheet, fired several shots at the car when the man in the parking dispute, who was with his wife and child, tried to drive away, according to the Daily News story at the time.
Apparently, one of the bullets ricocheted off the car and slammed into the nearby minivan, where the 13-year-old’s parents were unloading the vehicle.
Padilla, who had at least 10 prior arrests, caused a scene after the shots by barricading himself in a nearby apartment until cops talked him out of the standoff.
District Attorney Cy Vance used the sentencing as an opportunity to discuss gun violence in the city: “To fire a gun several times into a car filled with people is to act with utter disregard for human life. What started as a petty argument over a parking space could have resulted in tragedy. Gun violence continues to traumatize families, plague neighborhoods, and destroy the futures of countless young men and women,” he said in a press release sent out earlier today.
Gun violence has been a major talking point in New York City this month with the mayor speaking out frequently about gun control. In other gun-violence-related news, Mike Bloomberg, who co-chairs the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, sent a letter to the president yesterday urging him to discuss guns in his State of the Union Address tonight.
At Obama’s address last year, he discussed the Tucson shootings and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who had just been shot at the time, and who announced her resignation from Congress over the weekend.
The letter — signed by Bloomberg and coalition co-chair Thomas Menino, the mayor of Boston — urges the president to address the background check system for gun sales in our country.
It was something Obama mentioned in his speech last year, but the mayors in their letter, write, “Many months later, almost nothing has changed…we hope you will remember the debt we owe to the families of police officers killed in the line of duty; to all victims of illegal guns; and to the 12,000 people who will likely be murdered with guns this year – unless we act.”