MANHATTAN – As tearful family members gathered Saturday for 33-year-old Mario Gonzalez’s funeral— the Upper East Side auto repair shop manager whose life was cut short Monday morning when he was savagely gunned down in a double shooting on East 95th Street— there were final goodbyes, hugs and support for Mario’s loved ones, but closure remains in short supply at the solemn remembrance.
Mario’s family is unable to understand why a man in a dark blue hoodie and white gloves walked into NYC Auto, Inc. and shot their loved one in the head and shoulder, shot another man in the back, then calmly and casually walked to his blue Chevy Equinox and sped away from the scene.
Police haven’t released any indication of what the motive for the slaying may be.
“He was only 33 years old, and the sweetest person you could ever meet,” wrote relative Asriel Gonzalez in a GoFundMe fundraiser to help with funeral costs for the heartbroken, grieving family.
Mario’s mother is devastated by the death of her youngest son, the fundraiser says, adding the auto repair shop manager was the sole source of income for the home he shared with her.
As of Saturday afternoon, one hundred donors had contributed more than $15,000 towards those costs— far exceeding the $10,000 goal.
The outpouring of support from friends, acquaintances and even those in the community who didn’t know Mario, a man who relatives say was “truly loved by many people.”
“Accept my condolences for your loss,” one donor wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Even though I did not know him personally I feel your pain…. My (sic) God give you strength in this difficult moment.”
Thoughts and prayers bring some solace to Mario’s family, but justice for the beloved 33 year old is what they need now.
“This guy with gloves on seems premeditated,” a relative of Mario told Upper East Site after seeing photos and video of the suspect.
“I pray he’s brought to justice.”
Police are asking that anyone who recognizes the man seen in the surveillance video to reach out to NYPD CrimeStoppers at 800-577-8477— a $3,500 reward is being offered, and all calls are strictly confidential so you can remain anonymous.