Harlem detectives are again appealing to the public for help as they look to track down the suspect behind a deadly shooting that occurred just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic gripped New York City three years ago.
Christopher Allen, 27, of East 179th Street in the Bronx was killed, and two others were injured but survived, in the gun violence that occurred on the afternoon of Jan. 23, 2020.
By April, the NYPD had identified a suspect — Darlin Martinez, then 23. At that point, however, New York was in the deadly throes of the COVID-19 pandemic in which thousands of New Yorkers, including a number of NYPD personnel, were sickened and even died of the contagion.
Still, the search for Martinez continued on even as the city gradually reopened between 2020 and 2021, and through the year 2022 without any success in finding him.
Law enforcement sources said the shooting occurred at 1:58 p.m. on Jan. 23, 2020 in front of an apartment building at 606 West 135th St.
Officers from the 30th Precinct, in responding to a 911 call about shots fired, found Allen shot multiple times throughout the body. EMS rushed him to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
Police later found two other victims at the scene: a 27-year-old man shot in the back, who was rushed by private means to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in stable condition; and a 26-year-old man who took a bullet to his chest, and was also taken to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital by EMS.
Now 26 years of age, police said Martinez stands about 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds.
Anyone with information regarding the shooting or Martinez’s whereabouts can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (for Spanish, dial 888-57-PISTA). You can also submit tips online at crimestoppers.nypdonline.org, or on Twitter @NYPDTips. All calls and messages are kept confidential.