Young man arrested in first NYC homicide of 2021: NYPD

Local News

Robert Williams (inset) was killed in front of a Queens hotel on Jan. 1, 2021, the first homicide of the year

QUEENS —  A young man was arrested Tuesday in connection to New York City’s first homicide of 2021, police said.

Richard Swygert, 19, of the Bronx was taken into custody nearly a year after the incident. He faces charges of murder, attempted murder, assault and criminal possession of a firearm.

Just after 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, police responded to a call of a person shot outside the Umbrella Hotel on Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens, Queens.

Robert Williams was pronounced dead at the hospital, police said. His death was marked as the first homicide of the year.

Williams, who was remembered as a standout athlete, was supposed to celebrate his 21st birthday the next day.

The Umbrella Hotel had briefly served as a shelter in the past and had been as a source of controversy in the community.

Swygert had also been indicted in September in connection to a shooting at a Flushing karaoke bar that killed a Queens man and injured another person the month before, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

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