The shooter at a New York City, New York, Christmas concert was an immigrant to the United States from the Dominican Republic who avoided deportation despite an extensive criminal record, officials confirm.
Luis Manuel Vasquez-Gomez, a 52-year-old native of the Dominican Republic who lived in the Bronx, opened fire on December 13 at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine following an outdoor Christmas concert on the steps of the church.
Vasquez-Gomez was met within five minutes by New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers who pleaded with him to drop his gun, though he refused. NYPD officers shot Vasquez-Gomez, and he was rushed to a hospital where he died.
Vasquez-Gomez was wearing a Dominican Republic face mask and hat and, according to the New York Daily News, was carrying a manifesto where he justified the shooting “because of the way the United States treated the people of Latin America.”
Last night, as shots rang out at an #UWS church, bystanders ran for their lives. Three heroic NYPD cops ran toward the gunfire & engaged the shooter.
— Commissioner Shea (@NYPDShea) December 14, 2020
Luis Manuel Vásquez Gómez es el Dominicano que se atrevió a disparar en la catedral de New York, usando la bandera dominicana como tapabocas… ♀️♀️♀️ pic.twitter.com/4qPfOQb6gs
— Ode👩🏼💻📱 (@OdeComunica) December 14, 2020
According to records, Vasquez-Gomez had a long criminal history dating back three decades. Vasquez-Gomez first arrived in the U.S. in 1976 as a legal immigrant. In 1989, Vasquez-Gomez pleaded guilty after cutting the hand of a man but avoided prison.
A year later, Vasquez-Gomez pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon and selling cocaine after being arrested for attempted murder. Police said Vasquez-Gomez had fired gunshots in the direction of a woman and police officers. Vasquez-Gomez was sentenced to three to nine years in prison.
In 1995, Vasquez-Gomez was ordered deported by a federal immigration judge after having served his prison sentence. Twice in 2007 and 2017, Vasquez-Gomez was allowed to stay in the U.S. after being granted a stay of removal and a removal waiver.
Vasquez-Gomez was last in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in 2008 after he violated his parole in 2007. He was released from ICE custody that year.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.