Who was Jason Rivera? NYC dad-of-three, 35, shot dead on Bronx street after stopping to help drunk stranger

Rivera was father of three children -- girls aged seven and three, and a 2-year-old boy, in addition to the twins due in November


                            Who was Jason Rivera? NYC dad-of-three, 35, shot dead on Bronx street after stopping to help drunk stranger
Jason Rivera had moved from the Bronx to Staten Island two years ago (Facebook)
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THE BRONX, NEW YORK CITY: A man was shot dead as he stopped to help an apparently intoxicated man sitting on a bench by a playground in the Bronx, police sources said Sunday.

Jason Rivera, 35, may have been followed by his killer as he walked along Taylor Avenue near Guerlain Street in Parkchester just after 11:40 pm on Friday, police sources said according to a report by Today.

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Who was Jason Rivera?

Jason Rivera's wife said stopping to help a stranger on the Bronx street where he used to live didn't surprise her. “He’s always been like that,” Shantay White said to the New York Daily News. “People know him over there for that. People just know him, period, for that.” 

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White, who is pregnant with twins, could never have dreamed that the good deed would cost her 35-year-old husband his life. The couple has three children -- girls aged seven and three, and a 2-year-old boy, in addition to the twins due in November.


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'Daddy is dead'

White had to break the news to their two older children, and she fears the day their youngest son realizes he will never see his father again. “I told my seven-year-old. She broke down because of course she’s been with her father all the time,” she said to the news outlet. Of her younger daughter, White said: "All she’s really saying is that ‘daddy is dead,’ so she’s just going off of that. She just knows of death and stuff, so she just knows that her father is dead. But she’s not really old enough to know."

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White and Rivera had been married for eight years before they moved to Staten Island two years ago, but they stayed very much a part of the Bronx, where they had family and friends.

Had survived a shooting caused by a staredown

Rivera had come a long way to avoid the violence in his past, which included several run-ins with the law and a short stint in jail. He survived a shooting in the Bronx in June 2012, at Webster Ave. and 169th St., which he said was caused by a staredown, according to police reports as reported by NY Daily News.

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He had some problems with some people in the area, but his wife believes it was nothing serious. “It wasn’t to where it had to be something like this,” his wife said to the outlet. “His beef was minor beef, like guy beef stuff, you know. It wasn’t something for somebody to have that much hatred, to take their time to sit and actually wait for him.”


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What happened to Jason Rivera?

Rivera, a Staten Island resident, had stopped to assist a 43-year-old man who was was possibly drunk and acting erratically sitting on a bench outside the Taylor Playground when, another man, a sweat-shirted gunman calmly exited a black Mercedes-Benz SUV and walked past him, according to sources as reprted by the NY Daily News.

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What happened next was caught on surveillance footage. Rivera appears to flinch when a loud gunshot fills the air minutes before midnight. The video comes to a close at this stage. Rivera was hit in the head and chest by more bullets before the gunman fled in a black Mercedes SUV parked near a fire hydrant, according to cops, and fled toward White Plains Road.

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Before saying his last words, Rivera managed to persuade the man he was assisting to sit on a bench. “You good?” Rivera asked the man, the video reveals. “You OK?” The first deafening gunshot is the next sound.

White has seen the video, and while she was stunned by the violence, she was also struck by something else, according to the grieving mother. “We met on the block where he was killed,” White said to NY Daily News. “That’s the crazy part.”

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Rivera was taken to Jacobi Hospital by medics, but he was unable to be rescued. According to cops, the man seen in the video remained on the scene. The attacker, who was about 5-foot-7 or 5-foot-8 and dressed in a grey hooded sweatshirt, tan pants, and white-and-black sneakers, was captured on camera and photographed by police. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

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