The murder of an expectant father in a Bronx playground was retaliation for an earlier shooting.
Officials said Wednesday that the fatal shooting of an expectant father in a Bronx playground four months ago was retaliation for a shooting committed more than a year earlier.
The motive for the murder of 35-year-old Jason Rivera became clear after police arrested the man they allege mercilessly gunned down during an April 23 ambush caught on camera.
Paaron Bradley was charged Tuesday in connection with the shooting in Parkchester on Taylor Ave. near Guerlain St.
Cops believe Rivera was assassinated in retaliation for a shooting on the Cross Bronx Expressway near Rosedale Ave. on March 10, 2020, that injured a 24-year-old friend of Bradley's. Bradley suspected Rivera of being the assassin.
Rivera was never charged in connection with the 2020 shooting, which occurred about six blocks from his death, cops said.
Bradley faces a murder charge. Wednesday's arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court was pending.
Rivera, whose widow Shantay White is expecting twins in November, had pulled over to assist a man who appeared to be intoxicated and acting strangely in the Taylor Playground when he was killed.
Police have released shocking surveillance video showing the gunman calmly walking past Rivera and the 43-year-old disturbed man before doubling back and opening fire.
Rivera was struck in the head and chest before his assailant fled in a black Mercedes SUV left parked near a fire hydrant, according to police.
Rivera persuaded the man he was assisting to sit on a bench before delivering his final words.
“Are you all right?” Rivera inquired of the man, the video reveals. “Are you all right?”
Shantay White, Rivera's widow, was unsurprised to learn her husband died while attempting to assist someone.
White told the Daily News shortly after her husband's death, "He's always been like that." “That is why he is well-known over there. People simply know him for that.”
White acknowledged that her husband's past was marred by violence and run-ins with the law, including a brief stint in prison.
Rivera survived a shooting in June 2012 at Webster Ave. and 169th St. in the Bronx, police sources said. He told police the shooting was sparked by a stare down.
Apart from the twins, Rivera and his wife have a 7-year-old girl, a 3-year-old girl, and a 2-year-old boy.
“We crossed paths on the block where he was assassinated,” White explained. "That is the insane part."
Rivera and his wife had been together for eight years and moved to Staten Island two years ago, but Rivera frequently returned to the Bronx, according to his wife.