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22-year-old accused of murdering senior citizen in anti-gay attack

NEW YORK -- A 22-year-old man from Queens has been accused of stabbing to death a senior citizen, and investigators are calling it an anti-gay hate crime.

Steven Torres, 22, is being held in connection with the fatal stabbing of Ever Orozco, 69, at about 1 pm Monday near the 90th Street-Elmhurst Avenue 7 train station stop in Jackson Heights, Queens. Torres told detectives that he believed that the victim was making sexual advances towards him.

Just before he was killed, Orozco had taken his wife to a doctor's appointment and left. He was attacked at 90th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, according to police, and the suspect fled after the knifing. Police caught the suspect six blocks away and later recovered the knife used in the murder.

The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) reported that the NYPD says that this is the second time this month that Torres has been charged with an anti-gay stabbing attack. NYPD said Torres is accused of stabbing a 47-year-old man on Sept. 12 inside 9 Stanton Street near Bowery, and again Torres claimed that the unidentified man was making sexual advances toward him. The 47-year-old man survived his injuries. The legal status of the first stabbing case is not known at this time.

The murder of Ever Orozco is the third anti-LGBT homicide in New York City this year. Mark Carson was slain in May and Islan Nettles was killed in August.

"We rarely see multiple anti-LGBT homicides in New York City in one year,” said Sharon Stapel, executive director of AVP. “Since May, we have seen homicides in the West Village, Harlem and Jackson Heights and we know that any neighborhood in New York City can be impacted by anti-LGBT violence. We are extremely concerned about this disturbing trend of violence against our communities.”

AVP said it is reaching out to Make the Road NY and other community based partners, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and the Queens District Attorney’s Office’s, which are currently investigating this incident, and Councilmembers Danny Dromm and Jimmy Van Bramer.

AVP will be organizing a Community Safety Night for Friday, Sept. 20 in Jackson Height, Queens. More information about the Community Safety Night updates about these incidents will be posted on AVP’s Facebook.

Reporting violence is crucial to help end violence

AVP encourages everyone to report violence you experience or witness to its free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online HERE.

(Tip of the hat to New York Daily News).