Murder charges dropped in fatal fish market stabbing

Murder charges have been dropped against the employeeof an Upper Manhattan fish market after he allegedlystabbed two brothers during a dispute in the store, killing one of them.

NEW YORK – Murder charges have been dropped against the employee of an Upper Manhattan fish market after he allegedly stabbed two brothers during a dispute in the store, killing one of them.

Junior Aquino Hernandez, 34, will still be charged with assault. He allegedly claimed the pair was trying to steal shrimp earlier this week.

Malik Burrell, 25, died at NYC Health & Hospitals/Harlem. His half-brother, Robert Burrell, 29, was listed in stable condition with stab wounds to his torso. Brothers stabbed in argument over shrimp at fish store

One of the victims died on his birthday after the attack in Upper Manhattan.

Robert is now being charged with robbery and assault. He's accused of trying to steal shrimp from Fish Express Fish Market on St. Nicholas Place before being confronted by an employee.

According to the NYPD, he fled, but then returned a few minutes later with Malik, and started fighting with the workers.

During the dispute, police said Hernandez pulled out a knife and stabbed both men.

The inside of the Fish Express Fish Market is seen through a window.

Hernandez claims the stabbing was an accident.

“Today is my son’s birthday, and he died on his birthday.” Father of victims

The victims' father went to the store Wednesday. Robert Burrell said there was no way his kids were trying to steal anything.

"My kids were wonderful kids. I raised them right," Burrell said. "My mom raised them right. We got a whole village that raised all our kids."

Burrell said the killing happened on a day his son should have been celebrating.

Robert Burrell, the father of the victims, hugs someone outside the store.

"Today is my son's birthday and he died on his birthday," Burrell said. "He took my baby from me."

“It doesn’t warrant killing anyone over food.”

Other people from the neighborhood were shocked about the killing.

"It doesn't warrant killing anyone over food," Stacey Love said.

The stabbings took place inside the Fish Express Fish Market.

Burrell said he's lost two of his five sons in less than two months. He just lost another son on Jan. 2, 2023.

"I'm hurt. I'm devastated," Burrell said

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