Charges: Riverhead man yelled ‘I kill you!’ before shooting victim

VERA CHINESE PHOTO | Two Riverhead Town police officers lead Juan Sotos Pixtun to town justice court Friday morning.

An 18-year-old Guatemalan immigrant from Riverhead pulled out a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun and yelled “I kill you!” moments before delivering a nonfatal shot to another man’s leg in Polish Town Thursday night, according to the charges levied against him in Riverhead Town Justice Court.

Wearing a black T-shirt, low-slung jeans, with his hands and feet cuffed together and head down, Juan Soyos Pixtun listened to the charges through a Spanish interpreter via telephone during his court appearance before town justice Richard Ehlers Friday morning.

Mr. Soyos Pixtun is also accused of shooting another man, Oscar Alvarado, 36, of Riverhead outside a West Main Street convenience store last week.

“It is alleged you attempted to murder Edgar Bautista,” Judge Ehlers read of the charges stemming from the Polish Town incident.

Juan F. Soyos Pixtun

Mr. Soyos Pixtun is facing a slew of charges, including second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault, Riverhead Police said.

Judge Ehlers set bail at $500,000 and ordered Mr. Soyos Pixtun to return to court Monday.

Police arrived on the scene at Pulaski Street and Marcy Avenue about 10:30 p.m. Thursday for reports of a shooting, officials said. There, officers found Mr. Bautista, 20, of Riverhead lying on the ground, writhing in pain after being shot in his upper leg, police said.

A witness then identified the shooter as Mr. Soyos Pixtun, who was arrested soon after and taken to police headquarters.

Mr. Bautista’s injuries were described as “non-life threatening.”

Mr. Soyos Pixtun was also charged for shooting a Riverhead man in the arm in downtown Riverhead Friday night, police said. That shooting happened about 9:50 p.m. outside a small West Main Street shopping center that houses a laundromat, barber shop and Latino delicatessen.

Police later said an argument led to the downtown shooting of Oscar Alvarado, 36, of Riverhead, who was treated at Peconic Bay Medical Center. Mr. Soyos Pixtun, who police do not suspect has any gang affiliation, fled that scene on foot.

Investigators said he was packing a 9-mm handgun at the time of his arrest Thursday night, and during questioning it was determined he was also involved in last week’s shooting.

“There was obviously some beef between [these] guys,” said Riverhead Police Lieutenant Robert Peeker, adding that detectives are looking to link the gun to both crime scenes through a ballistics test.

The announcement of the arrest came about same time Suffolk County Police issued an alert asking for the public’s help in identifying the West Main Street shooter.

Mr. Soyos Pixtun’s image was captured by surveillance cameras last Friday night.

“We didn’t know who he was,” Lt. Peeker said. “But we knew what he looked like.”

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