Innocent NYC grandma shot dead in suspected gang beef: ‘A beautiful person’

A beloved Bronx grandmother was shot dead while running errands Thursday afternoon when a suspected gang member shot at a rival in a busy commercial area.

Footage obtained by The Post shows Enriqueta Rivera, 71, crumbling to the concrete in broad daylight near a Mott Haven crosswalk as the gunman and his target scatter in opposite directions.

“She was a sweet woman,” said longtime neighbor Luis Gutierrez, 46. “A beautiful person. She had just retired. She was enjoying her downtime. She had two teacup Yorkies that she adored.”

Gutierrez said Rivera was the matriarch of a large family and frequently hosted relatives at her apartment — and occasionally prepared food for his wife and kids as well.

“She loved her family,” he said. “Every other Saturday her two daughters would come by and have a family gathering, a lot music, food. Just having a great time together.”

The grieving neighbor — who lit a memorial candle in front of her apartment building Friday afternoon — said the area has become engulfed in violence.

Enriqueta Rivera was shot dead Wednesday afternoon.
Grandmother Enriqueta Rivera was shot dead Thursday afternoon.
A sign near the scene of Rivera's killing.
A sign near the scene of Rivera’s killing.
Brigitte Stelzer

“It’s like a kid growing up in Kuwait, in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “These are things you just have to adjust to.”

Carmen Pagan, 65, a worker at a hair salon near the scene of the murder, said locals are afraid to walk the streets amid spiking crime and flying bullets.

“Business is down,” she said. “They don’t want to be around the corner. [The violence] is gonna keep on. It’s happened three days back to back. And they’re not going to do anything. The police, the mayor, they never do anything about it. We’re all by ourselves here in the Bronx.”

Police said Rivera was desperately attempting to flee the sound of gunshots when she was hit in the back.

Candle left outside Rivera's apartment.
Neighbors left a memorial candle next to Rivera’s apartment.
Brigitte Stelzer for NY Post

The combatants were arguing on East 138th Street near Brook Avenue just after 12:30 p.m., when one of them began spraying bullets in the teeming commercial area, cops said.

Another innocent bystander, a 34-year-old woman, was shot in the arm and is expected to survive.

“Those bullets struck two innocent people standing out on the street,” said NYPD Assistant Chief Benjamin Gurley at a news briefing Thursday night.

Mott Haven crime scene.
The scene of Rivera’s murder in Mott Haven.
Peter Gerber

The lethal violence was just one of three shootings over the past week that left four innocent bystanders injured – including an 8-year-old boy who was hit by a stray bullet just after getting off his school bus Wednesday afternoon.

Investigators believe the shootings could be tied to worsening gang activity.

“We believe that these shootings have gang nexus or crew nexus to them,” Gurley said.

Mott Haven crime scene with crime tape
Cops are investigating possible gang links to the killing.
Peter Gerber
Memorial flowers in the Bronx
Rivera was described as a loving local fixture who recently retired.
Brigitte Stelzer

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark characterized Rivera as an adored figure in her local community who was just “standing there minding her own business.”

“This has got to stop … Enough is enough,” Clark said.

“This is happening in broad-daylight,” she stressed, as authorities pleaded with witnesses to come forward. “We cannot allow this to continue to happen.”

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