In 2006, a man was fatally shot and many others were injured when a sniper fired in various Queens neighborhoods over an eight hour time period. The sniper turned out to be bricklayer Matthew Colletta, who had targeted red cars and people wearing red clothing. Yesterday, Colletta was convicted of the murder of Todd Upton as well as the attempted murder of 12 other people. Upton's wife Mary said, "It's been a long four years, and we're glad justice was done. You don't hate him [Coletta]. You have to let go, but you understand that there has to be a price to be paid."
Upton, a UPS driver, and his wife had just dropped their daughter at Marist College and were returning home to Long Island; they were on the Cross Island Expressway when a shot hit Upton, who was sitting the front passenger seat of their red minivan. In eight other shootings, a combination of drivers and pedestrians were shot at. Colletta allegedly told the authorities that he was shooting at Bloods gang members who were following him. He was reportedly also on a cocaine-and-alcohol binge and had assaulted his girlfriend days before the shootings. A friend said that Colletta suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.
Colletta faces up to 25 years in prison.