Reputed gang member wanted in Christmas Day killing of Long Island father

HEMPSTEAD, Long Island — Police are searching for a suspected member of the Bloods gang Wednesday, accusing 17-year-old Antoine Foster of firing a 9-mm gun Christmas Day and killing a father as he walked to the train station to meet his daughter.

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder noted the victim, Rafael Cepeda, 35, was slain “after wrapping his 11-year-old daughter’s gifts.”

Cepeda had just left his home on Terrace Avenue in Hempstead after 6 p.m. on Dec. 25 and set off on foot to the Long Island Rail Road station.

Nassau County Police Homicide Commander Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said Foster’s alleged accomplice, Shameq Sullivan, 16, was acting as a “spotter” — looking for a rival gang member in a car. That car was driving behind Cepeda as he walked to the train station at 6:25 pm.

“Foster shot the 9-mm gun towards the vehicle,” Fitzpatrick said. “Mr. Cepeda was in the line of fire.”

Shameq Sullins, 16, is accused of firing a gun that killed a father as he walked to a train station to meet his daughter on Christmas Day 2017. (Nassau County Police Department)

The police department has a device called a “shot spotter” and responded to the scene to find Cepeda’s body with multiple gunshot wounds on Terrace Avenue.

Sullins was apprehended in Hempstead on Tuesday and arraigned on murder charges, but Foster is still at large.

“We have not recovered the weapon. He may still have it,” Fitzpatrick said.

Anyone with information is urged to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All callers will remain anonymous.