Two men were charged in Staten Island court in the fatal shooting of a gang member over a stabbing incident, authorities said Friday.
Kevin Soto, 26, and Victor Lorenzana, 24, who according to their lawyer are brothers, were taken into custody at their Staten Island homes on Thursday and charged with murder and manslaughter.
They are accused of killing Michael Evans, a member of the Untouchable Gorilla Stone Nation gang, on the afternoon of May 9 on Beach St. near Union Place in Stapleton — steps away from Eden II, a school for autistic children, police said.
Lorenzana fired the gun, and Soto aided the crime by driving Lorenzana from the scene, , a criminal complaint says. The men were both arraigned Friday and ordered held without bail.
Lorenzana was also charged with gun possession, and Soto was additionally charged with hindering prosecution.
A law enforcement source familiar with the case said Evans had stabbed Lorenzana last year, though no charges were filed in connection with the incident.
Though the stabbing did not result in charges, it did spark “bickering back and forth” between Soto and Lorenzana and Evans, said Lorenzna’s lawyer, Nicholas Ramcharitar.
The beef evidently was still raw when Soto and Lorenzana, riding in a gray BMW, allegedly spotted Evans on the street May 9.
Lorenzana got out of the car and fired at Evans, said police. He and Soto then drove off.
Because of the feud between the Soto/Lorenzana and Evans clans, Staten Island court officials laid on extra security inside and outside the courthouse on Friday.
“Every court officer in Staten Island must have been in that room today or outside that building. I’ve never seen so many in my life.” Ramcharitar said.
Tensions came to a head inside a packed courtroom after the arraignment, when one of Evans’ family members, approached the two defendants’ families and a screaming match broke out.
Court officers stepped in, telling both families to “calm down” before escorting each party separately outside to their cars.
Lorenzana has sealed arrests on his record and Soto has arrests for drugs and reckless endangerment, law enforcement sources said.