East Harlem murder case solved 18 months later: Brooklyn man booked for fatal shooting

Washington Heights man shot dead
File photo/Lloyd MItchell

A Brooklyn man was arrested more than a year after he allegedly murdered a Bronx man in East Harlem during the summer of 2021, police announced Wednesday.

Tito Llanes, 27, of Baltic Street in Brooklyn was booked March 28 on murder, assault, criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment charges for firing the fatal shots that killed Sylvester Topping, 57, of Lyman Place in the Bronx.

Law enforcement sources said Topping was fatally shot in the face in the area of 337 East 115th St. in East Harlem at about 1:36 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 11, 2021.

Sources familiar with the case said that the shooting stemmed from a prior dispute; the connection between Llanes and Topping, however, was not immediately known

Officers from the 23rd Precinct, in responding to a 911 call about the shooting, located the wounded Topping, who was unconscious and unresponsive. EMS rushed him to Metropolitan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Following a thorough investigation, detectives connected Llanes to the homicide, and tracked him down on March 28, 2023 at the Jefferson Houses, located on East 115th Street. He was taken into custody without incident, and transported to the 23rd Precinct for questioning and processing, authorities said.

Police sources noted that Llanes has two prior arrests: a criminal possession of a weapons charge in August 2014 in the Bronx, and a conspiracy count he received in Brooklyn in June 2018.