An Arizona man has been indicted for fatally shooting his friend on a Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train that was headed to Wyandanch.
Nicholas D’Agostino, 20, of Arizona has been accused of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, in connection to the fatal, execution-style shooting of 20-year-old Yusef Staine on the LIRR in February 2022.
D’Agostino arrived in Wyandanch after traveling from Arizona to visit Staine. On February 15, 2022, the pair, along with two other friends, rode the LIRR to New York City from Wyandanch.
A review of surveillance video provided by the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) Police revealed that Staine and D’Agostino then returned together to Suffolk County during the early morning hours of February 16, 2022. After missing their train stop in Wyandanch, the pair arrived at the Ronkonkoma station and then boarded the westbound train, headed back toward Wyandanch. While getting onto the train car, D’Agostino, who was walking behind Staine, shot him once in the back of his head. When Staine collapsed to the ground, D’Agostino shot him in the torso. The Suffolk County Medical Examiner later determined that Staine died due to the gunshot wounds.
The investigation further revealed that, immediately after the fatal shooting, D’Agostino fled the railroad station and then Suffolk County. Law enforcement collected extensive surveillance video which tracks D’Agostino’s movements before, during, and after the murder. Police also were able to track his locations based on cellphone data.
On May 18, 2023, after a year-long investigation, D’Agostino was arrested in Yonkers by Suffolk County Police Department Homicide Squad detectives. He was arraigned the next day on the indictment for the charges of second-degree murder, a Class A felony, and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C violent felony. D’Agostino was ordered held without bail during the pendency of the case.
“The defendant allegedly executed someone who considered him a friend,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney. “This defendant thought he could get away with it because he was wearing a mask and then fled Suffolk County, but he was clearly wrong. Due to the great investigative work done by our Suffolk County prosecutors, investigators, and police, we were able to determine the defendant’s identity and charge him with this brutal murder. Let it be clear – if you seek to harm our citizens here in Suffolk, you may run, but you cannot hide, because we will continue to pursue you until you are held responsible for your crimes.”
D’Agostino’s next court date is scheduled for June 14, 2023. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted on the top count alone, but is eligible to be sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.