Joaquin Salazar, 18, died after he was allegedly stabbed during an altercation Saturday night, say police

By KC Baker
December 02, 2020 12:24 PM
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Joaquin Salazar
Joaquin Salazar
| Credit: Facebook

A New York high school soccer star is dead and a 17-year-old is charged with killing him and injuring another teen after allegedly stabbing them both during an altercation on Saturday, say police.

Joaquin Salazar, 18, was among a group of teens gathered at Charles Point Park in Peekskill at about 9:15 p.m. Saturday, City of Peekskill Police Chief Donald Halmy said, the Daily Voice reports.

Police are still investigating why an altercation broke out, but during the fight the 17-year-old suspect, whose name is being withheld by authorities because he is a minor, allegedly stabbed Salazar and another teen, the City of Peekskill Police Department says in a press release.

Friends drove the teens who’d been stabbed to Hudson Valley Hospital, suffering from apparent stab wounds to the torso area, say police. They were later transferred to Westchester Medical Center because of the severity of their injuries.

Salazar died of his wounds at Westchester Medical Center.

The suspect, who was injured in the fight, also went to the hospital.

He was subsequently arrested and charged with second-degree murder and assault for wounding another 18-year-old man in the fight, say police.

He was arraigned Monday night, say police. It is unclear whether he has entered a plea or retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

He is being held at a juvenile detention center.

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 As the suspect awaits his next court date, Salazar’s family and friends are grieving his loss.

“Joaquin was a soccer star, upcoming, overall great player, great person, great kid,” Salazar’s uncle Marcello Santucci told CBS2 at a memorial for the popular teen Sunday night. “He had a bright future. This is not right.”

A 2019 graduate of Peekskill High School, Salazar was considered one of the soccer team's stars and high scorers, the Daily Voice reports.

He “cared about everyone,” his cousin, Sofia Santucci, told CBS2 at the memorial. “Selfless. He would always put his friends and family first, before anything.”

Salazar was very close to his sister and parents, Santucci said.

A Facebook fundraiser has been set up to help Salazar's family defray funeral costs.

Police continue to investigate.

Anyone with information about the alleged stabbing is asked to call 914-737-8000 or email jgalusha@peekskillpolice.com. Anonymous tips can also be made at www.cityofpeekskill.com under the crime tips section.