FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Brooklyn Man Sentenced to 33 Years to Life in Prison for Fatal Shooting of East Williamsburg Metal Worker during Crime Spree
Victim Was Shot in the Chest; 13-Year-Old Girl Was Shot in the Hip
Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 22-year-old man has been sentenced to 33 years to life in prison for the 2015 fatal shooting of Michael Matusiak, a 53-year-old worker at a sheet metal shop in East Williamsburg.
Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant senselessly took the life of an innocent father who caught him breaking into cars and shot and injured two others, including a 13-year-old on her way to school. His decision to needlessly escalate his crimes by using a handgun has affected many lives. Not only did he take the victim’s life, he destroyed his own. He will now spend the rest of his life in prison to pay for his violent actions.”
The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Bryan Aponte, 22, of Bushwick, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Neil Firetog to 33 years to life in prison. The defendant was convicted of one count of second-degree murder, one count of second-degree attempted murder, one count of second-degree assault, and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, last month, following a jury trial.
The Acting District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on October 6, 2015, at approximately 7:50 a.m., the defendant was spotted breaking into and ransacking cars at the corner of Grattan Street and Knickerbocker Avenue in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He was confronted by Michael Matusiak, 53, and another man, 57, both workers at the nearby ABNY sheet metal shop.
After Matusiak shouted at the defendant, he turned around and fired, striking Matusiak in the chest and buttock. The 57-year-old man was shot in the torso and in the ear. A 13-year-old girl was shot in the hip by a stray bullet as she walked to school. Matusiak died at the scene. The other victims were treated at Elmhurst Hospital and released.
The defendant was arrested three weeks later in East New York, Brooklyn, at his grandparents’ home after they called police to say he wanted to surrender.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Howard Jackson, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Chow Xie, of the District Attorney’s Trial Bureau Grey Zone, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Homicide Bureau Chief.