THE BRONX - A grand jury convened Tuesday to hear testimony on whether a police office should face charges in a fatal Bronx shooting.
According to authorities, Officer Raphael Lora shot Honduran immigrant Fermin Arzu May 18. Lora, who was off duty, said Arzu hit a parked car while driving a minivan. Lora claimed Arzu, who was unarmed, did not follow orders to stop.
Wendy Castillo, the victim's niece and family spokesperson, was the first person to testify before the grand jury. She identified Arzu's body after the shooting.
Family attorney Michael Harty defended Arzu's reputation against drunken driving allegations in the incident. "The penalty for driving while drinking ? is not death by execution and that is what this grand jury will have to sort through," Harty said outside the Bronx District Attorney's Office.The grand jury testimony to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against Lora is expected to last two weeks to a month.
Arzu's relatives have filed a claim for a $25 million civil suit in the case, but say they are currently focused on the criminal case.