MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon residents have been shaken by the murder of Michael Anthony Santiago, who was the victim of multiple shotgun blasts in a premeditated attack.
Santiago, 26, was slain shortly after 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday while he was allegedly on his way to retrieve belongings from a former girlfriend. Police, who were in the area on a routine patrol, arrested Kamau Kiarie, a 35-year-old Bronx resident, who immediately surrendered. Kiarie has been charged with second-degree murder.
Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis has described the murder as “brutal.” Detective Jason Conley and Officer Michael Gregorio were the patrolmen who responded and subsequently arrested Kiarie.
“It could have been so much worse. There was a lunatic running around with a shotgun; we’re lucky the police were nearby,” resident Marcus Paige said on Thursday. “It’s pretty scary that he was just walking along and minding his own business when he got murdered in broad daylight.”
Police continued the investigation into the murder on Thursday, though the motive behind the murder remains unclear.
“It’s a shameful thing that happened, but I think we should all be alarmed that this person, who clearly (has) a few screws loose, was able to get his hands on a shotgun, (which) was then used to murder someone else,” Fourth Avenue resident Chris Torres said. “This wasn’t too far from my apartment.”
Fleetwood resident Marcia Moore expressed concern for the city as a whole.
“We need to bring people into Mount Vernon, but people aren’t going to come to a city where people are being murdered all the time,” she said. “We need to put an end to violent crimes in Mount Vernon if we want to be respected.”