BOSTON, June 21, 2013—A Fall River man who allegedly opened fire on a rival outside a West End nightclub has been identified and held on high bail at his arraignment just a few blocks from the crime scene, Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said.
RUBEN PINA (D.O.B. 11/11/83) was arraigned this afternoon in the Boston Municipal Court on charges of armed assault with intent to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm as a second offense, all in connection with the Dec. 2, 2012, incident on Friend Street.
Assistant District Attorney David Bradley of the DA’s Senior Trial Unit recommended $500,000 cash bail. Judge Michael Coyne imposed that amount.
Pina is charged as one of two gunmen in a double shooting that left one victim with gunshot injuries to the head and shoulder and the other with multiple gunshot injuries to his legs. The investigation into the second shooter’s identity is ongoing.
Bradley told the court that the victims had just left a Friend Street nightclub when Pina and a group of his associates approached them. A verbal altercation ensued, after which Pina walked a short distance to a parked sport-utility vehicle, retrieved a firearm, and returned to where the victims were. Pina then shot one of the victims in the head. A second gunman shot the second victim repeatedly in the legs.
A Boston Police officer working a paid detail nearby who heard the shots and saw muzzle flashes attempted to follow Pina’s getaway vehicle but was repeatedly blocked in his pursuit by a car driven by ETSON ALVES (D.O.B. 4/1/88). Alves was arrested and is currently under indictment as an accessory after the fact to the Friend Street shootings.
Boston Police detectives searched Alves’ car pursuant to a search warrant and recovered a Canon Rebel camera loaded with digital photographs depicting Alves with Pina and others at an earlier party. Notably, Pina can be seen in those photos wearing a tight-fitting, white, long-sleeved shirt that is identical to the one worn by the first gunman in footage from multiple surveillance cameras near the crime scene.
Earlier today, Boston Police detectives executed a search warrant on Pina’s home and found what is believed to be that white top, along with other clothing consistent with the gunman’s garb. They also recovered a .357 caliber handgun that was not used in the Friend Street shooting.
“Internal and external cameras allowed us to track this defendant almost from the moment he arrived on Friend Street until the time we believe he shot a man in the head,” Conley said. “Ironically, though, our first break in identifying him came from the very suspect who tried to keep police from pursuing him. The camera in that suspect’s car gave us a crystal-clear image to compare with surveillance footage.”
Two of Pina’s associates were later arrested with the gun he allegedly fired on Friend Street. Those men – shown posing with Pina in photos from a party a few hours before the shooting – were arrested after a traffic stop on Dec. 7 yielded a .38 caliber handgun that proved to be a ballistic match to projectiles recovered from the man who was shot in the head. Neither of those two men was present at the Greatest Bar or on Friend Street, however, and neither was wearing the distinctive long-sleeved white shirt.
Pina was represented by attorney Paul Barnicle. He will return to court on July 22.
All defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.