Oct. 27, 2021 By Christian Murray
A Bronx man who allegedly shot three men—one fatally—outside a Kew Gardens hotel in the early hours of Jan. 1 has been indicted on murder and attempted-murder charges, according to the Queens District Attorney’s office.
Richard Swgert, 19, allegedly killed a 20-year-old Rosedale man and injured two others after an argument broke out between two groups at a New Year’s Eve party at the now-shuttered Umbrella Hotel on 82nd Avenue and Queens Boulevard.
The shooting took place at around 1 a.m. and left Robert Williams dead and two other men requiring treatment at local hospitals.
“The defendant’s alleged actions led to the first homicide in New York City this year,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz. “Senseless shooting have brought grief and heartache to far too many families in our neighborhoods.”
Swgert was arraigned Tuesday on a seven-count indictment charging him with murder in the second degree, two counts of attempted murder in the second degree, as well as weapons and assault-related charges.
He faces 25 years-to-life in prison if convicted and was ordered to return to court Nov. 29.
The Umbrella Hotel closed about a week after the fatal shooting. Elected officials and community leaders had been calling on City Hall to close it for months prior to the killing. There had been two shootings at the hotel in the six months leading up to the Jan. 1 murder as well as arrests pertaining to prostitution.