A college student is killed by gang violence.
For Pam Corrente of Freeport, New York, it was just another day of running errands. Then, as she was driving her teenage son to the doctor, she passed what appeared to be a terrible car accident:
It was then that Pam received a phone call about her oldest son, 21-year-old Damian:
When Damian didn’t answer her calls, Pam remembered the ambulances and decided to check local hospitals:
Within minutes, Pam was at the hospital. Her son, Damian, had been involved in the incident she saw earlier. But it was no traffic accident:
Damiano Corrente is Damian’s father:
Pam and Damiano learned that their son had died in a gang shooting. There were allegations that Damian himself was a gang member. Pamela Corrente said that was not possible:
In the weeks leading up to his death, Damian had returned home from college for winter break and started hanging out with his friends from high school. Det. Brian N. Parpan of the Nassau County Police Department:
Harold told Damian that two days earlier, he was jumped by members of MS-13, a violent El Salvadoran street gang originally from Los Angeles. Harold asked Damian for help. Pamela said her son had a hard time saying no:
Chief Michael Woodward of the Freeport Police Department suspects that Damian’s naiveté led to his death:
According to Det. Parpan, Harold and Damian found who they were looking for at a local strip mal: 19-year-old German DeLeon:
Damian, Harold and the others returned to their car. Then, two more members of the MS-13 gang showed up starting firing. Zambrano was shot in the neck. Damian was shot five times in the head.
A police investigation quickly revealed the identity of the alleged shooters: German DeLeon, Mario Portillo, and Juan Gil Ferrufino. But the suspects could not be found.
To help deal with her grief, Pam started a gang awareness program in Freeport:
Pam finds her new work rewarding, though it will never take away the pain of losing her son. There is only one thing that would help: catching the killers of Damian Corrente.
Although the families of all three suspects still live in Freeport, police have traced German DeLeon, Mario Portillo and Juan Gil Ferrufino to El Salvador. If their specific whereabouts can be determined, the suspects could be extradited to the United States for trial.