Davila, Electeds, Community Address Domestic Violence After Fatal Shooting


Assemblywoman Maritza Davila (D-Williamsburg, Bushwick) joined local elected officials, residents and community partners on the Bushwick street corner where an ex-boyfriend allegedly gunned down a young woman and the mother of their two young sons to denounce both domestic violence and gun violence.

Sade Sanchez, 24, was shot multiple times in her shoulder, chest, stomach and neck around 10:30 p.m. Oct. 7 outside her home on Menahan Street near St. Nicholas Avenue in Bushwick, cops said. She was rushed to Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, where she was declared dead.

Police said her former boyfriend and father to her two young children, 26-year-old Gabriel Rivera, surrendered to the police at the 83rd precinct. He was charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Sanchez’s mother, who was walking with her at the time of the shooting, told reporters that her daughter had complained to police several times for an order of protection against Rivera.

Assembly Woman Maritza Davila, Center, and U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez mourn the death of domestic violence victim Sade Sanchez.

“I mourn with the Sanchez family through the devastating tragic loss of their beloved, Sade Sanchez. It’s a sad reality, for far too many women and men who are victims of domestic violence. Many victims are often afraid to leave their abusive partner because of fear, shame and lack of resources. That is why I stand here will you all today, so that each and every one of you can learn that there is help waiting for you. I myself was a victim of domestic violence and I understand the emotional barriers,” said Davila, adding that more than 10 million women and men in the U.S. alone are victims of severe physical violence by their significant partner every year.

Davila noted that she co-founded the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence, which has  helped save many lives.

“I made it my duty to pass legislation such as A.1056, A.946-A, A4104-A, and A.10275 to ensure that there are more training programs and further assistance in place to help those who are in need. However, the fight against gun and domestic violence does not end here,” she said.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn, Queens, Lower Manhattan) said her heart is broken for the young woman who lost her life to this senseless act of domestic and gun violence in Bushwick.

“While nothing can quell the pain of her grieving family and community, we can and must do more to prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future. This is why I am calling upon leaders in Congress to pass a long-term renewal of the Violence Against Women Act and increase federal resources to support survivors and hold perpetrators accountable. This Domestic Violence Awareness Month must be a time of action when survivors can be made to feel safe and justice is served for those who commit these heinous crimes.” said Velazquez.

City Council Member Antonio Reynoso (D-Williamsnurg, Bushwick) also extended his heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of the victim in the horrific shooting.

A large crowd of resident turned out to call attention to ending both domestic violence and gun violence.

“This senseless act of violence has brought to light the stark reality that domestic violence continues to persist in our community. In light of this tragedy, we must unite as elected officials, community leaders, and residents to strengthen protections for victims of abusive relationships and improve access to available resources and support. I thank Assemblywoman Maritza Davila for convening this call to action, and I look forward to working together to address this issue,” said Reynoso.

“I am devastated by the loss of Sade Sanchez, a mother of two young boys, who was ruthlessly murdered by her ex-boyfriend,” said Public Advocate Letitia James. “Sadly, Sade’s circumstance is not uncommon – more than half of female homicide victims in our country are killed by an intimate partner. While we will do everything in our power to ensure her murderer is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, we must also remind women that we care and there are resources available to support them.”

In March, the Assembly again passed the Domestic Violence Escalation Prevention Act, which prohibits an individual who has been convicted of a domestic violence crime from purchasing or possessing a firearm. This year, the Senate finally joined the Assembly in passing the legislation and the governor signed it into law, marking a major milestone for domestic violence survivors (Ch. 60 of 2018).

Davila noted that help and support are always available, and those threatened with domestic violence can call New York’s toll-free hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-942-6906. For additional information, visit the New York State Office of Victim Services website at ovs.ny.gov or the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence website at opdv.ny.gov. The North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence offers advocacy and emotional support for many victims; they can be reached at 718-302-4073 or by email at info@northbrooklyncoalition.org.