Detectives in Harlem are still searching for the suspect who pulled the trigger on an alleged drug dealer in his car over the weekend.
According to police sources, cops discovered 39-year-old Omar Espinal executed inside the driver’s seat of a Honda Civic at 6:22 p.m. on Jan. 7 outside of an apartment building located at 619 West 135th St.
Espinal had apparently been found hanging out of the car window after being shot in the head and in the neck near his collarbone. He was pronounced dead at 7:01 p.m. at Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital.
Police reported that Espinal has nine prior arrests, eight of which occurred in New York City and the other on Long Island.
In 2013, he was slapped with a federal charge for intent to sell cocaine and that same year faced a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree. Marijuana was also found at the scene of his death.
Because of his prior record, police officials are investigating a possible link to Espinal’s murder and drug-dealing activity.
Investigators were able to track the victim’s moments, believing he left his home in Hudson Heights at around 5:30 p.m. before parking his car on 135th Street at approximately 6 p.m. over the next few minutes the alleged shooter begins circling the block in an SUV until he eventually parks directly behind the victim at around 6:12 p.m.
“The perpetrator walks up to the passenger side of the car, opens the door, reaches in. There’s a struggle and a shot is fired,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Joseph Kenny said. “We have a very strong person of interest involved in this case.”
According to Chief Kenny, investigators have recovered the car they believe was used in the shooting, which is currently being processed with forensics.
No arrests have been made and the investigation remains ongoing.