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Bronx sidewalk shooter who nearly killed two kids was free on parole despite recent arrest

Michael Lopez, 27, was arrested on Friday in connection with the June 17 shooting

The suspected shooter charged with firing at two kids on a Bronx sidewalk was walking free on parole despite recent charges in a violent felony, it has been revealed.

Michael Lopez, 27, arrested on Friday morning in connection with the June 17 shooting, shocking video of which showed a gunman fire wildly at a gang rival just inches from children.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who has previously slammed loose bail laws, questioned why Lopez was still out on parole despite a January arrest for a knifepoint robbery in the subway. 

‘I think the main question we should all be asking is: How does an individual released to parole get arrested for knifepoint robbery and is walking around on the street? And is that justice for those little kids?’ asked Shea at a press conference. 

‘What I would like to get back to is common sense,’ Shea added. ‘When you see individuals on the street getting arrested for violent activities, getting released almost immediately, and seeing this churn over and over again, I think we can do a lot better,’ he said.

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who has previously slammed loose bail laws, questioned why Lopez was still out on parole despite a January arrest for a knifepoint robbery in the subwa

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, who has previously slammed loose bail laws, questioned why Lopez was still out on parole despite a January arrest for a knifepoint robbery in the subwa

Michael Lopez, 27, is walked out of the 44th Precinct after police charge him with attempted murder in the June 17 shooting incident where he fired on a person with two children present

Michael Lopez, 27, is walked out of the 44th Precinct after police charge him with attempted murder in the June 17 shooting incident where he fired on a person with two children present

He is on parole through 2023 for a conviction in a Harlem shooting that was nearly fatal, and was charged again in January in a knifepoint robbery

He is on parole through 2023 for a conviction in a Harlem shooting that was nearly fatal, and was charged again in January in a knifepoint robbery

Shea noted that whenever a suspect who is on parole is arrested, the NYPD notifies the New York State Division of Parole, which is responsible for revoking parole status and returning parolees to prison if they violate the conditions of release. 

Lopez has an extensive criminal history, with five arrests including attempted murder, robbery, conspiracy, criminal possession of a weapon and revenge porn.

He is on parole through 2023 for a conviction in a Harlem shooting that was nearly fatal. The outcome of the other cases wasn’t immediately clear.

Police records viewed by DailyMail.com reveal he is a member of the Make it Happen Boyz gang – a street gang in Harlem.  

Police say he Lopez is the gunman who was filmed running behind Hassan Wright and opening fire, shooting him in the back and legs before fleeing.

What was most horrifying about the shooting was that the gunman paid no regard to 13-year-old Mia and five-year-old Christian Toribio, who were walking home from the store and got caught beneath Wright’s feet after he barreled into them while trying to flee. 

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark compared the video of the shooting to television footage from a Yankees baseball game in 1977 showing buildings ablaze

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark compared the video of the shooting to television footage from a Yankees baseball game in 1977 showing buildings ablaze

The gunman paid no regard to 13-year-old Mia and five-year-old Christian Toribio, who were walking home from the store

The gunman paid no regard to 13-year-old Mia and five-year-old Christian Toribio, who were walking home from the store

Miraculously, neither of the kids were struck but they were just inches from the bullets as the wild shots rang out. 

The shooting outraged New Yorkers who are growing tired of the soaring crime across the city, and the shocking footage made headlines around the world. 

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark compared the video of the shooting to television footage from a Yankees baseball game in 1977, when the cameras panned to a blazing building and the announcer famously stated: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.’ 

‘That footage defined the Bronx for years to come, and we were seen as a place of destruction and arson. Now we have this video of these two innocent children running for their lives,’ Clark said. 

‘That heartwrenching video was seen around the world, and now I fear that the catchphrase is that ‘the Bronx is bleeding,” she added.

The case was cracked after tips from the public identified Lopez as the suspected shooter

Police tracked the shooter to a subway station, where surveillance cameras provided a clear view of his face that was released to the public

The case was cracked after tips from the public identified Lopez as the suspected shooter

The case was cracked after an extensive police canvass of the area turned up surveillance footage that tracked Lopez fleeing the scene on a scooter, all the way to a subway station where he was dropped off.

Surveillance images inside the subway station showed a clear view of his face, and after they were released to the public, tips came flooding in that identified Lopez.  

‘We got very good help from the community in this particular case,’ said Chief of Detectives James Essig.

Essig said that Lopez admitted that he was the person pictured in the surveillance image from the subway station and then gave conflicting accounts of where he was at the time of the shooting, before refusing to talk further. 

The shocking shooting unfolded in broad daylight on a Thursday afternoon, as Mia and Christian walked together to the corner store for a loaf of bread.

Their parents looked on in horror from a window down the block, as they always did when they sent the kids to the store, as the children became entangled in the shooting. 

The number of shootings across the city is spiraling out of control. There were 33 shootings in just seven days between June 7 and 13th

The number of shootings across the city is spiraling out of control. There were 33 shootings in just seven days between June 7 and 13th

Christian, five, and Mia, 13 at the Yankees game on Sunday. They were hosted by the Yankees after being visited at home by local politicians

Christian, five, and Mia, 13 at the Yankees game on Sunday. They were hosted by the Yankees after being visited at home by local politicians

The Make it Happen Boyz gang that Lopez belongs to is one of the largest in New York City. 

Its members are regularly arrested in raids in Harlem. The gang goes by the abbreviation MHB. 

Its members are all residents of Manhattanville, a neighborhood in upper Manhattan where Lopez lives. 

One former member previously told Gothamist anonymously: ‘It was never really a gang. MHB, the Make It Happen Boys, whatever. It was just Manhattanville. 

‘We didn’t have no colors or no one in charge. It was just us. It was just living in the projects.’ 

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