Reputed gang member pleads not guilty to Christmas Day murder

Posted: Updated:
HEMPSTEAD -

The suspected gang member accused of firing the shots that killed a Hempstead father on Christmas Day pleaded not guilty Friday at his arraignment.  

Police say Antoine Foster, 17, was firing shots at who he believed were rival gang members riding in a car on Terrace Avenue on Christmas Day.

Investigators say Rafael Cepeda, 35, was caught in the crossfire. He was on his way to the Hempstead train station at the time to pick up his 11-year-old daughter. The two were supposed to spend the Christmas holiday together.

Foster, who police say is a member of the Bloods, was held without bail on a second-degree murder charge. He was arrested with the help of U.S. Marshals in Alexandria, Virginia.

After the arraignment, there was some screaming and shoving as friends and family of Foster left the courtroom. The scuffle at the courthouse was so intense that a court officer apparently feared somebody would try to grab one of their pistols.

Another suspect, Shameq Sullins, was arraigned on second-degree murder charges in January. Police say he acted as a spotter during the shooting that killed Cepeda.

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