Davila Brings Solace To Bushwick Houses After Two Murders

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Justice and unity were the themes that were emphasized at an event last week aimed to restore faith in the community after two people were murdered at the Bushwick Houses on May 11.

The development is part of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing. Bushwick and Flushing avenues, and Moore and Humboldt streets in Bushwick bound the complex.

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg) led a rally to bring the community of Bushwick Houses together in an attempt to restore a peace of mind amongst the residents. Police officers, community leaders and children from the Bushwick Houses Community Centered gathered for informative and rallying speeches to a grieving community.

Ana Devalle, a 62-year-old resident of Bushwick Houses was found dead after being shot in the head with a .38 caliber weapon. Her neighbor Basil Gray, 54, was also killed with a similar weapon. Police suspect the killings are related. The suspect has not been caught.

Devalle was found bound by her hands. Gray’s body was found by his family Monday after they had not heard from him for days. Gray had been shot in the torso multiple times.

Several friends attended the rally before heading to Devalle’s wake.

A woman who identified herself as Dolores said that Devalle was a good woman with beautiful children and an active member of the community.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when I saw her picture on the news,” she said.

Dolores was brought to tears by the speeches that served as rallying cries for her deceased friend.

“She was only 62, her daughter looked just like her sister. This shouldn’t have happened,” she said.

Assemblywoman Maritza Davila addresses the concerned residents of the Bushwick Houses after two recent murders of elderly residents of the complex. Photo by RJ Sonbeek.

While Davila attended the event, City Councilman Antonio Reynoso, U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez, and State Sen. Martin Dilan, who all represent the North Brooklyn areas of Bushwick and Williamsburg, sent representatives. The Grand Street Settlement was a partner in hosting the rally.

“We want the community to know that their lawmakers are with them, and we want to bring some peace of mind,” Davila said.

Despite the hard times that they are going through, Davila said it is important everybody sticks together.

“We have a strength in our community. We have to rely on each other as neighbors,” she said.

She said the one thing she knows about the neighborhood is that they are not scared of anything and that they will not let fear overcome them.

“We know that person is going to get caught. Not only that, the person is going to get the severe penalty of the law,” she said.

Davila said the goal was to bring a diverse set of people from across the community. She said people of all creeds and colors were invited to show the strength of the people of Bushwick.

Charvey Gonzalez, the legislative director for Dilan, said the senator could not be in attendance because of another commitment, but offers his condolences to the community.

“The senator wants to see swift justice brought to the case,” he said.