Hudson Valley Grandfather Mistaken For Cop Nearly Killed At New York Restaurant
A Hudson Valley grandfather was shot by a total stranger while eating out with his children and grandchildren.
On Friday, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that 28-year-old Hector Luna Jr. of Wallkill, New York pleaded guilty in Orange County Court to assault in the first degree.
Orange County, New York Grandfather Shot Outside Middletown, New York Restaurant With Family
Charles Miller of Walden was shot on April 14, 2021, around 9:15 p.m. outside of You You Asian Cuisine Restaurant.
Luna was arrested in April of 2021 following a shooting outside of the You You Asian Restaurant and Bar, located at 465 Route 211, in the Town of Wallkill.
Miller ate out at the Chinese restaurant prior to the shooting. Miller's wife, Marlenea, says Charles was shot by a "random stranger," while out to dinner with five of his children and two of his grandchildren. She adds the bullet hit his stomach, large intestine and small intestine before exiting his back on the right side.
Miller says Charles is a father to six and a grandfather to eight. Two years ago he had surgery to remove his right kidney due to cancer.
Three weeks before the shooting, his sister died, according to Miller. Charles was listed in "very serious condition" at Garnet Medical Center but survived the shooting. A GoFundMe was set up to help his family as he continues to recover.
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Police alleged Luna shot Miller because he thought Miller was a cop.
Wallkill Restaurant Shooting Suspect Found in Pennsylvania
Days after the shooting, the Town of Wallkill Police Department announced they've arrested Luna. Luna was found and arrested at a hotel in Matamoras, Pennsylvania. Luna was taken into custody at the Hampton Inn hotel located in Pike County, Pennsylvania.
"I thank the dedicated and cooperative efforts of all of the varied law enforcement agencies who came together to investigate the senseless crime and to track down the defendant and bring him to justice," Hoovler said.
Under the plea agreement announced on the record at the time that Luna pleaded guilty, and after consultation with the victim of the crime, the District Attorney’s Office will recommend that Luna serve 7. 5 years in prison.
“The defendant’s admitted conduct highlights the terrifying consequences of random gun violence,” Hoovler said. “This disposition spares the victim the additional trauma of reliving this horrific incident in front of a jury. I hope the victim continues on the road to recovery and is able to take comfort knowing that this defendant will be prevented from committing further harm by the significant state prison sentence expected."
Luna is sentenced on January 17, 2023.