Just before 4 a.m. on Mother's Day, Stephanie Taveras, a 21-year-old mother of two from Irvington, N.J, was riding in a white BMW when she was gunned down by unknown assailants driving a black SUV. “I had just met her,’’ 29-year-old driver Rafael Herrera tells the Post, explaining to the Daily News that he met Taveras on a street corner on Saturday night. After partying at his Glendale home, they went on an early morning booze run.
Herrera says they were headed west on the Grand Central when the driver of a black SUV pulled up alongside him near Flushing Meadows Park. Taveras was shot in the head, and Herrera drove Taveras to Elmhurst Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. Herrera's SUV was sprayed with at least ten bullets, but he escaped unharmed. “I was in the center lane, and they were on my right side,” Herrera tells the Post. "I heard more than four shots. The first sounded, like, by itself, and the others close together. I ducked and sped off."
Taveras's neighbor says she leaves behind a 2-year-old child and an 8-month-old child. As for Herrera, neighbors tell the News he "throws parties every couple of weeks, and the smell of marijuana fills the hallways daily."