Jermaine Jackson, of Queens Village, was sentenced on Dec. 17 to more than 30 years in prison and five years’ supervised release for the December 2016 murder of Edwin Lopez, a clerk at AL Mini Mart in Valley Stream.
Jackson, 25, reportedly walked into the convenience store on Dec. 16, 2016 wearing a mask over his face and brandishing a semi-automatic handgun, according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s office. Jackson held the store’s employees at gunpoint, while a co-conspirator attempted to steal money from the cash register. Lopez grabbed a bottle and resisted the robbery, at which point Jackson shot him once. Jackson then attempted to flee, but Lopez chased him, at which point Jackson turned around and shot Lopez several more times, killing him. Jackson and his co-conspirator then fled the scene, empty-handed.
Lopez, 36, an Oceanside resident, was rushed to nearby Long Island Jewish Valley Stream Hospital on the night of the shooting, according to police, and pronounced dead roughly an hour later. Police searched for the shooter, but did not arrest Jackson until March.
Jackson initially pleaded not guilty to the firearm-related murder charge and six other counts in federal court in Central Islip, but would in 2017 later admit to shooting Lopez.
“Jackson senselessly murdered a hard-working man who was just trying to support his wife and teenage daughter,” United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement. “While this sentence cannot return Mr. Lopez to his family and community, it will ensure that others will be protected from Jackson for decades to come and it will make other criminals think twice before taking a life.”