BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Just minutes before he was killed, 32-year-old Freddie Dizon took to Facebook, telling his followers about an alleged child molester.
Dizon was talking about Jorge Suarez. And it’s likely the reason why police say Suarez targeted Dizon.
For the past few months, as police have been going through their investigation and talking with witnesses, News 4 has talked about the case with family members of both Dizon and Jorge Suarez, who’s charged with second-degree murder.
Suarez is accused of walking into the kitchen area of Anchor Bar on Main Street and opening fire during the dinner rush of May 20, the restaurant full of customers, who suddenly found themselves witnesses to a deadly shooting. Many of them have been interviewed, police said.
Suarez was picked up less than 24 hours after the shooting on a parole violation in a separate case. He’s remained in jail ever since.
Dizon and Suarez knew each other, family members said.
And whether Suarez committed some kind of molestation is not fully known. But Suarez’s family sent to News 4 a letter addressed to Suarez regarding an open case by the state’s Office of Children and Family Services. It discussed broadly the fact the office was investigating the 26-year-old Suarez on suspected child abuse in March of 2015.
Ultimately, according to the letter provided by the family, that investigation found no evidence of wrongdoing. The state office declined to discuss the letter, saying the case has been sealed.
In the hour that preceded the fatal shooting, Dizon took to Facebook calling someone a molester, and threatening them, saying “He’s gonna get wats coming to him.”
Suarez’s family members said they believe Dizon was talking about Suarez. Dizon’s family said they believe Freddie was targeted.
Herminia Gonzalez, Dizon’s mother, said Monday she didn’t want to discuss specifics about the case. But she confirmed the two knew each other.
“He got mad because of my son told him what he did and this is what happens,” Gonzalez said. “He was scared of my son. And he should’ve not did what he did. My life will never be the same. He took a piece of me that’s never going to be the same.”
Acting District Attorney Michael Flaherty declined to provide details about a motive in the shooting, saying those details would likely come out during trial.
Suarez is expected to be arraigned in the coming days. Flaherty said he will present the case to a grand jury later this month.
Gonzalez, who also works at Anchor Bar — along with other members of Dizon’s family — said Monday she was relieved when investigators told her about Suarez’s charges.
“My son went into work, and then a half hour later I get a phone call, my son got shot,” she said. “I’m just happy for this news that I got today. I’ve been praying to God every day because I had a good son, he was a good son, a good dad, a good brother. His kids, that’s the worst feeling a mother should get, but I’m happy now and that’s all I want is justice for my baby.”
Flaherty said the timing of the investigation and the announced charges — less than 24 hours before Tuesday’s Primary for Erie County District Attorney — was nothing more than “a coincidence.”
“If we could’ve had this announcement back on May 20 we absolutely would have,” he said. “But some investigations take longer than others. He (Suarez) was not apprehended at the scene and so we had to piece together all of the circumstantial and direct evidence linking him to the crime.
“With all cases, but especially murder cases, you get one shot,” he added. “You get one swing at the bat, and so we’re very lucky to have such skilled detectives in the homicide squad who know what it takes to close the case. And they weren’t going to stop until they did.”
When pushed about the timing, Flaherty said the timing was the result of the investigation, which is up to Buffalo police detectives.
“I didn’t do it,” he said. “Again if I could’ve had this announcement or Buffalo police could’ve had this announcement back in May, I think the public would’ve been a lot more satisfied. We all wish we could’ve done that, but it’s just the way it works. Some of the investigations take longer than others and we’re glad to report that there are charges filed, the case will be presented to a grand jury and will move forward.
“Again the Buffalo police are not working for me,” he said. “They work for the citizens of the city of Buffalo.”
The other man implicated in the shooting is Gregory Ramos, 24, of Buffalo. He’s suspected of being the getaway driver. Those details were revealed when Ramos appeared in federal court in late June on unrelated charges. Ramos has not been charged with anything related to the Anchor Bar shooting.
Ramos is facing a series of state and federal charges related to a domestic violence incident and several other run-ins with law enforcement dating back to August 2015. He remains in jail.
Flaherty declined to discuss Ramos, saying instead the focus of Monday was Suarez.