Pictured: Kristal Bayron-Nieves, 19, who was shot and killed while working at Burger King in Harlem early Sunday morning
A teenage girl who had recently moved with her family from Puerto Rico to New York seeking a better life was gunned down and killed during a robbery while working one of her last few night shifts at a Harlem Burger King – with the killer making off with only $100.
Kristal Bayron-Nieves, 19, was working as a cashier at the Burger King at 116th Street and Lexington Avenue in East Harlem early Sunday morning when an armed robber entered the restaurant at around 1am.
The gunman pistol-whipped a male customer before punching a female manager in the face.
Bayron-Nieves, who just started the job three weeks ago, gave the robber $100 cash from the drawer, an eyewitness said, according to her mother.
The criminal turned to leave, but turned around again and shot Bayron-Nieves in the chest, according to the New York Post.
The teen was transported to nearby Metropolitan Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
‘She didn’t deserve to be mowed down while working at a Burger King,’ a police source said.
Her family told the Post that she had already requested more security and moved to the day shifts after fearing for her safety when leaving work, but her new schedule was not supposed to start until next Friday, which proved too late for Bayron-Nieves.
‘She is only 19, and she has more than 50 homeless people sleeping in front of the store,’ her mother, Kristie Nieves, 36, said in Spanish through friend and translator Nathalie Pagan.
Surveillance photo of the suspect, right, wanted for killing the 19-year-old cashier while robbing the fast food eatery for just $100
Pictured: cops investigate a fatal shooting of a teen working at the Burger King at 116th Street and Lexington Avenue in East Harlem
The body of Kristal Bayron-Nieves is wheeled out of the Burger King early Sunday morning after she was fatally shot in the torso during a robbery
Bayron-Nieves had moved to New York City from her native Puerto Rico with her mother and 14-year-old brother two years ago.
The 19-year-old girl had recently earned her GED and took the job at the fast-food eatery to buy a car, reported New York Daily News.
But Bayron-Nieves was afraid for her safety working nights and had asked management to be switched to day shifts.
Bayron-Nieves moved to New York from Puerto Rico two years ago. She had only recently obtained her GED
The 19-year-old was afraid to be working nights and had asked to be switched over to the day shift, which was supposed to happen next Friday
‘It was gonna end on Friday, this Friday,’ said her mother of the impending schedule change.
Her mother went on to say she felt particularly torn over her daughter’s death after convincing her to continue going to work despite the teen’s concerns.
‘Kristal said Friday, ‘I don’t want to go. I’m scared,” Nieves said.
‘I say, ‘You have to go and be responsible.’ At 10 pm I wake her up to go and tell her, ‘You have to go. You have to be responsible. You have to get a better life.”
Pagan added that Kristal’s mom ‘feels guilty about that. That’s what she tells me earlier, that she feels guilty because she wakes her up to go.’
New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Sunday visited the scene of the shooting in Harlem on Sunday and paid his respects to the victim
Adams also tweeted about Bayron-Nieves’ killing on Sunday
The teen was transported to nearby Metropolitan Hospital, where she was pronounced dead
The robber has yet to be identified or apprehended, according to police as they continue to investigate and canvas the crime scene, pictured above
A prayer vigil for Bayron-Ramos will take place in Harlem on Thursday night
NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s ‘woke’ crime policies
A January 3 memo sent out by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg was criticized by NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell as it elaborated on his ‘woke’ crime policy beliefs
The memo detailed the idea of reducing sentencing for non-violent crimes such as burglary, armed robbery and drug dealing despite the recent growth in NYC crime
Bragg said that he will ‘not seek carceral’ sentences for criminals, unless they were guilty of murder or a handful of other crimes he deemed serious enough to warrant prison
Sewell sent an email detailing her concern over Bragg’s ideas as she felt it could put officers as well as the public at risk
‘I have studied these policies and I am very concerned about the implications to your safety as police officers, the safety of the public and justice for the victims,’ Sewell wrote in the email obtained by the New York Post.
Sewell also said Bragg’s sweeping changes would cause harm to local businesses already reeling from the pandemic and would ‘invite more open-air drug markets and drug use in Manhattan.’
She added that the changes could lead to more gun violence as well as exacerbate quality of life concerns
‘The new charging policies of the Manhattan District Attorney effectively decriminalizes much of the conduct that New Yorkers are asking the police to address,’ she wrote.
In addition, Sewell she agreed with Bragg’s hopes for more criminal justice reform in the Big Apple, but argued that the NYPD was already making headway through its community based policing.
According to family, a young man, who stopped by to see her at the restaurant to bring her a flower almost nightly, was there when she was killed.
‘He told us he was there until her last breath,’ Pagan said.
‘He tells us when he went and walk to the place that he always buy her a flower. He went back, and they open the door to this guy that was dressed like them, in all black.’
Bayron-Nieves reportedly mistook the robber for a delivery man before he punched the restaurant manager and the knocked out the young man who there to see her.
Pagan said the teen cashier ultimately gave the thief all the money in the register, about $100 in cash.
‘So (the young man) says that the guy turns around and he comes back and shot her,’ Pagan said.
‘That he turn around like he is going to leave, but he comes back and shoots her.’
‘She’d done everything that he say,’ she said.
‘She give him the money and everything. That she didn’t even do nothing wrong.’
The robber, who has yet to be identified or apprehended, was described as a slim male who was wearing dark clothes and a black mask, according to police.
Authorities have since released surveillance video footage of the man wanted in the teen’s death.
Pagan, the family friend, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the slain cashier’s mother pay for her funeral.
New York City’s new mayor, Eric Adams, on Sunday visited the scene of the fatal shooting in Harlem and addressed the incident during an unrelated press conference that was held just hours later.
‘This is not only professional, it’s personal,’ Adams said of his fight against gun violence. ‘That family is traumatized, and I’m going to reach out and give them the support that’s needed.
‘The police commissioner and I have said over and over again, that’s the prerequisite of our prosperity, public safety and justice.’
A prayer vigil for Bayron-Nieves will be held of Thursday night at the Burger King win Harlem.
The fatal robbery comes as New York City’s crime rate soars after Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s controversial decision to downgrade burglary, armed robbery and drug dealing crimes felonies to misdemeanors.
The number of robberies has since increased by 19.4 percent over the course of the last week.
Meanwhile, former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton lashed out at Bragg, claiming the city’s new woke top prosecutor is ‘handcuffing the police’ as authorities search for Bayron-Nieves killer, while blaming George Soros for Bragg’s election.
Current NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell echoed Bratton’s claims, and slammed the new policy as she considered it a ‘danger’ to officers.
Bratton, who said that Soros has ‘effectively destroyed the criminal justice system in America,’ called Bragg’s woke policies of downgrading burglary, armed robbery and drug dealing from felonies to just misdemeanors a ‘recipe for disaster.’
‘He’s well-intended in the sense that he’s trying to find a way to address some of the issues of the past,’ Bratton said.
‘You don’t address the issues of the past by effectively decriminalizing just about everything in New York City.’
Pictured: Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg downgraded armed robbery and other crimes from felonies to misdemeanors
Sunday’s fatal robbery and shooting incident comes as crime continues to surge in NYC with a 19.4 percent increase in robberies reported
Bratton said newly-elected Mayor Eric Adams has his hands tied in terms of crime while Bragg’s office implements its woke policies.
Mayor Adams had promised a return to broken-windows policing after winning on a tough-on-crime approach campaign.
‘I don’t know how Mr. Adams is going to do that when the DA is effectively handcuffing the police,’ he said.
Several of New York City’s borough district attorneys also took aim at the soft-on-crime policies laid out this week by Bragg.
Meanwhile, Crime Stoppers is offering $3,500 for the killer’s capture as wanted posters with a surveillance photo of the killer could be seen gracing the streets of East Harlem on Sunday.