Man Indicted for 2009 Murder and Robbery of Brooklyn Shopkeeper

Monday, February 4, 2019


Man Indicted for 2009 Murder and Robbery of Brooklyn Shopkeeper

Fled to Australia Following the Attack;
Allegedly Connected to Crime Via DNA Evidence

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 37-year-old citizen of Turkmenistan has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and related charges for allegedly beating a Brighton Beach shopkeeper to death during a 2009 robbery. After the attack, the defendant fled to Australia where he was detained before his extradition to the United States, after DNA evidence allegedly linked him to the crime.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “For nearly 10 years, the family and friends of Vladislav Tolstykh have waited for this defendant to be prosecuted for a truly ruthless attack. I commend the New York City Police Department and Australian law enforcement for working together to bring this defendant back to Brooklyn to face justice.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Abakar Gadiyev, 37, a citizen of Turkmenistan who was living in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn at the time of the incident. He was arraigned today before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice on an indictment in which he is charged with second-degree murder, first-, second- and third-degree robbery and third-degree grand larceny. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on March 29, 2019. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted of the top count.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on March 14, 2009 at approximately 2:26 p.m. the defendant and indicted co-conspirator Arsen Bashirov, 37, allegedly ambushed the victim, Vladislav Tolstykh, inside a parking garage on Brighton 11th Street near the Brighton Beach Bazaar, a grocery store that the victim co-owned and managed. The defendants allegedly beat the 34-year-old victim to death and ran off with a pouch containing $32,000 in cash, paychecks and luxury watches.

Investigators recovered ski masks and sweatshirts the perpetrators allegedly used to conceal themselves and discarded as they fled. Forensic analysis of those items of clothing found they contained the DNA of the victim and two males. Additionally, investigators reviewed surveillance video that showed the suspects enter the parking garage wearing sweatshirts and ski masks prior to the victim’s arrival. Surveillance video also captured the perpetrators running from the garage carrying the victim’s property.

It is alleged that the suspects fled the country to their native Turkmenistan a few days after the homicide. Gadiyev allegedly then traveled to Australia where he sought asylum without disclosing his alleged involvement in the homicide to Australian authorities.

NYPD Detectives coordinated with Australian police to obtain a DNA sample from the defendant on April 11, 2013. Local authorities in Sydney, Australia collected an abandoned can of Red Bull Gadiyev left behind that contained a DNA sample which positively matched the DNA police allegedly recovered from the defendant’s clothing.

The defendant was indicted by a grand jury in October 2013. Australian authorities detained the defendant in 2014 while he awaited extradition to the United States. In December of 2018, the Australian Attorney General determined that Gadiyev could be surrendered to the United States. He was returned to New York on February 1, 2019.

The District Attorney thanked Detective Peter McMahon of the Brooklyn South Homicide Squad; Inspector David El-Badawi of the New South Wales Police Department in Sydney; members of the Australian Federal Police; members of the NYPD Intelligence Division; and members of the United States Marshal Service for their assistance in this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Andy Palacio, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Timothy Gough, Bureau Chief.


An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt