Family of 2002 murder victim nears justice

Johnathan Harris was gunned down on East Raymond Avenue on Oct. 24, 2002.

Johnathan Harris was gunned down on East Raymond Avenue on Oct. 24, 2002. (10/8/15)

WOODBURY - A reputed gang member was arrested in Texas in connection with a 2002 murder on Long Island, and family members of the victim say they're finally nearing closure.

Johnathan Harris was gunned down on East Raymond Avenue in Roosevelt on Oct. 24, 2002.

Prosecutors accuse Wuillmer Mendosa, an alleged member of the MS-13 gang, of approaching Harris along with a group of men and then shooting him four times.

"They approached the victim armed with bats, knives and a gun," says acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas. "They asked if he was a member of a rival gang. When he said no, he was shot four times."

Harris' family members are speaking out against gang violence, and say they welcome the renewed chance of justice for Johnathan, who would have turned 31 next week.

Harris was an avid basketball player and aspiring computer engineer, his family says. He was a month away from graduation at the Suburban Technical School when he was killed.

Mendosa allegedly fled the country after the shooting and was hiding out in his native El Salvador.

He tried to re-enter the United States through Texas in May and was promptly arrested.

He was extradited to New York this week to face a charge of second-degree murder in Harris' death.

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