Feliciano and Huerta (Source: Facebook)
Police say that 86-year-old Heriberto Pagan of East 15th Street in Midwood shot his grandson, Michael Feliciano, 47, in the face, put a bullet in the head of his grandson’s fiancee, Claritle Huerta, 28, and then got in his car and drove off. Nearby, Pagan stepped out of the car and turned the gun on himself, committing suicide.
The incident happened at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Friday in Rosebank, Staten Island.
Feliciano, the only survivor, was listed in critical condition after the incident, but granted the Daily News an interview over the weekend.
Feliciano, tears in his eyes and a bandage over his right cheek, spoke to Huerta on the phone minutes before all hell broke loose. She told him that Pagan was at the house on Virginia Ave. in Rosebank.
She called me and told me that he was there and he wanted to talk to me,” Feliciano told The News in an exclusive interview. “I said, ‘I just got off the bus. I’ll be right there. I love you.’”
… “She gave me the love that I’m never going to get back from anybody,” he said.
They met three years ago in rehab. He was first attracted to her smile.
“That smile just melted me,” he said. “She was the perfect woman for me.”
The couple’s 4-month-old son was in the home where his mother was killed. He wasn’t injured.
Authorities believe the root of the incident was the slow pace of eviction proceedings. The home Feliciano and his fiancee lived in was owned by his mother, Pagan’s daughter. Pagan believed the couple was taking advantage of her, and he and other family members struggled to give them the boot.
But just hours before the shooting, a judge had signed off on a warrant to evict Feliciano and his fiancee, reports SILive.
Court records show that Pagan’s daughter, Mildred Feliciano, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and was staying with relatives in Puerto Rico at the time of Friday’s shooting, filed a holdover petition to evict her son, Michael, 47, and his 28-year-old fiancee on Aug. 21, 2013. The parties appeared in Staten Island Civil Court on Sept. 12, 2013, and entered into an agreement that Feliciano and Ms. Huerta would be out of the house by the end of the year.
On Christmas Eve, Michael Feliciano, citing the loss of his job and the birth of his son, Uriel, one month earlier, applied for and was granted an extension that would allow him and his fiancee to remain in the house until Jan. 25, records show. But when Jan. 25 rolled around, Feliciano and Ms. Huerta were still living in the house. Feliciano applied for another extension on Jan. 30, but was denied because the request was deemed “premature,” since a marshal had not yet been issued a warrant of eviction, a court clerk said.
… The warrant was ultimately properly requested and reviewed on March 27, the day before the shooting, and signed by Judge Kimberley Moser on the day of the shooting.
It was officially issued to New York City marshall Steven Powell on Monday, with its execution stayed through April 2.
[Pagan's attorney on the eviction] Tribiano said eviction petitioners are typically notified shortly after a warrant is issued, but he couldn’t be sure whether Heriberto Pagan knew the judge had signed off on the warrant before he confronted his grandson and his grandson’s fiancee on Friday.
Tribiano said that he did not know why Pagan wanted the couple out, but noted that they did not have a lease.
News 12 reports that Pagan lived in the Midwood home for more than 30 years.
The woman who has lived with him for many years says he was friendly and a great man, but did have some issues with his grandson. She says Pagan told her that he was going to Staten Island, and never came back.
Neighbors of Pagan’s grandson say he was friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand.