More Arrests in NYC Valentine's Massacre; Link to Courthouse Shooting EyedALBERT DAVILA , Associated Press
Feb. 25, 1993 12:48 PM ET
NEW YORK (AP) _ The husband of a woman who was shot to death in a courthouse was one of four suspects arrested early today in connection with the St. Valentine's Day massacre of six other people, police said.
Police declined to immediately confirm whether Wednesday's courthouse shooting of Lourdes Casellas was related to the six slayings 10 days earlier. But published reports said her shooting may have been in retaliation for the alleged role of her husband, Anthony, in the slayings.
The others arrested today were Luis Ramos, 17, Luis Romero, 19, and Edgardo Rosado, 18, all of the Bronx, said a police spokesman, Officer Peter Friscia. A 9mm handgun was recovered from one of the suspects, he said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday that there might be a link between the two shootings. But Friscia would not say today whether such a link had been confirmed.
The first suspect in the Valentine's Day slayings was arrested just two hours before Mrs. Casellas was shot to death in a lunchtime attack Wednesday.
Elliot Lopez, 18, of the Bronx was charged with six counts of felony murder and six counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the slayings, said Kelly.
Lopez was arrested as he arrived at Bronx Criminal Court on an unrelated drug case. He was charged with six counts of felony murder and six counts of conspiracy to commit murder in the Valentine's Day killings, said Kelly.
Early Wednesday afternoon in the State Supreme Courthouse about a block away, a gunman identified as Gilbert Ortiz opened fire just inside the front door, police said. Mrs. Casellas was killed and a 17-year-old boy wounded before a court officer wounded Ortiz.
Ramos and Lopez were both in stable condition at Harlem Hospital, said hospital spokeswoman Pamela Hamilton.
The bodies of the six victims were found early Feb. 14, face down in an apartment in the Mott Haven section. Each was shot in the head.
Detectives initially theorized that the killings were drug-related. The neighborhood is among the city's most drug-ridden, with more than 80 murders a year.
The mass slaying was New York's largest since the all-time worst, the arson deaths of 87 people in the Bronx's Happy Land social club on March 25, 1990.