Bronx construction flagger fatally shot at job site; then boyfriend rams attacker with his car

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Scene where Lizbeth Mass was shot, CREDIT PIX 11
Scene where Lizbeth Mass was shot, CREDIT PIX 11

A New York woman known as “the mayor of City Island,” where she worked for years as a construction flagger, was fatally in broad daylight at a Bronx construction site, People.com has reported, citing other news media.

The ordeal started early in the afternoon of April 14 at a intersection on City Island, an enclave in Long Island Sound off the Bronx coast, when police were called to a 911 call about an assault in progress, the NYPD says in a statement.

The New York Daily News obtained surveillance video that partially shows a woman believed to be Lizbeth Mass, 52, on the sidewalk with her legs outstretched and being approached by a man believed to be the suspect, Jose Everaldo Reyes, 66, of the Bronx.

“After laying down his bike, he can be seen walking toward her as she gets up and runs away – falling to the ground after he apparently shoots her,” the published report says.

Police say she was shot six times.

Seconds later, the suspect gets back on his bike and is seen flying up into the air after being struck by a Hyundai Sonata.

As Reyes struggles to get up, the Hyundai rolls by him in reverse — by then with the driver apparently having exited — and hits a pole.

Mass’s boyfriend, Dwayne Walker, 58, who was allegedly behind the wheel of the Hyundai when it first struck Reyes, can then be seen grabbing Reyes and throwing him onto the hood of the car, punching him repeatedly.

After bystanders intervene, Walker races over to Mass, trying to help her as she lays bleeding on the sidewalk from the gunshot wounds.

Mass was rushed to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, the NYPD says in a statement.

“She was beautiful,” Walker told the Daily News Thursday night. “She was everybody’s person, everybody’s friend. She was the one at the party who got everybody dancing. Everywhere she went, she drew a crowd.”

Bystanders held onto Reyes until an IRS agent who was in the area arrested him, ABC 7 reports.

Reyes was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital, where he was listed in stable condition.

Reyes has been charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, criminal use of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon, the NYPD told PEOPLE in an email.

NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig said at a news conference local residents had described Mass as “sort of the mayor of City Island, always a friendly face, always waving ‘Hi’ to passersby, has kind words for motorists as they go by in traffic.”

Essig said Reyes worked as a handyman in the area and “frequently” came by the construction site on his bike.

“She always has a friendly smile for him, talks to him,” he said. “Yesterday he stops by. He brings a sandwich to her. They have some sort of discussion which we don’t know about.”

“We don’t know what triggered him,” Essig said.

Police say investigators believe “there was no relationship” between Mass and Reyes and are still trying to determine Reyes’ alleged motive, but they believe Reyes may have wanted to date Mass, WPIX reports.

Walker told the Daily News that Mass was friendly to everyone, including Reyes. “She befriended him,” he told the paper. “She said this guy would bring her lunch sometimes.”

Walker told the paper that, just before the alleged shooting, Mass introduced Reyes to him.

ELizbeth’s brother, Raul Mass, said Reyes allegedly grew enraged when he learned that she had a boyfriend, he told the Daily News.

“When my sister presented her boyfriend to him, he changed his look,” said Raul. “I think he didn’t know she had a boyfriend,” said Mass. “He just exploded,” said Walker.

Walker has not been charged.

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