Real Name: Damien Corrente
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Freeport, New York
Date: January 14, 1999
Details: On January 14, 1999, Pam Corrente was running errands in her quiet neighborhood of Freeport, New York, when she passed what appeared to be a terrible traffic accident. Upon returning home, she received a strange call concerning her oldest son, twenty-one-year-old Damien. The caller asked for him, but when Pam said he wasn't there the person hung up. Pam felt something was strange so she tried to find out where Damien was. She tried to page him, but he didn't respond; Pam then remembered the accident and called several hospitals. She found that Damien was at South Nassau Hospital.
She rushed there and found that Damien had been involved in the incident she had seen before, but it was no traffic accident; he had been shot five times and killed by gang members. Damien's parents had to fight allegations that their son was a gang member. They believed that he had been in the wrong place at the wrong time. He had been a pre-med student at Stonybrook University, planning to become an anesthesiologist. In the weeks leading up to his death, he had returned home during winter break and rekindled friendships from high school.
One of those friends was Harold Zambrano, a member of a local street gang "Netas". He had been jumped by members of a rival gang known as "MS-13" two days earlier. MS-13 is a violent El Salavodiran gang that originates from Los Angeles. Harold asked Damien, who was not involved in any gangs, to drive him around to find the men who had attacked him. Believing that he was helping his friend, Damien agreed. Police believe that Harold intentionally did not tell Damien that he was in a gang.
At a local strip mall, Harold found the man he was looking for: nineteen-year old German DeLeon. Harold confronted him, but he said he wasn't involved in the previous altercation and didn't want to cause trouble because he was with his girlfriend. However, when two more MS-13 gang members arrived at the scene, a deadly shootout commenced. Harold was shot in the neck and critically injured. Damien was fatally shot five times in the head.
A police investigation soon identified the shooters as German DeLeon, along with two other gang members named Juan Gil Ferrufino and Mario Portillo, but they could not be found. In the midst of almost paralyzing grief, Pam attended a police forum on gangs held at a Freeport school in reaction of Damien's murder. When someone asked if there were gangs in Freeport, an officer said "not really." This made Pam upset and she told the group about her son's murder. During the meeting, she had an epiphany: she would lead a charge to get rid of gangs in their neighborhood. She and the Freeport police formed G.A.S.P.- the Gang Awareness Supression Program- to bring gang awareness to public schools and provide alternative activites for kids.
Since Pam founded G.A.S.P., not one person has died in Freeport from gang violence, but this will never take away the pain of losing her son. Pam believes she will be able to move on once Ferrufino, Portillo, and DeLeon are captured. Police traced them to El Salvador, but they may have returned to the United States and may be hiding out in Los Angeles or Miami.
Suspects: Damien's killers have been identified as Juan Gil Ferrufino, Mario Portillo and German DeLeon. Although their families still live in Freeport, it's believed the three might have fled for El Salvador.
All three men have brown hair and brown eyes. Both Ferrufino and Portillo are thirty-five-years-old and stand at 5'7" with multiple tattoos on their chest. DeLeon is now thirty-seven-years old, is 5'6" and has many tattoos on his chest and shoulder.
Extra Notes: This segment originally ran on the September 3, 2002 episode.
Some sources spell his first name "Damian".
Results: Unresolved. Although Damien's killers have been identified, they remain at large.
- Damien Corrente at Unsolved.com
- 2 Sought in Student Slay
- Suspects still wanted for Damien Corrente Shooting