2 charged in murder of Rodney Saunders

A candlelight vigil was held in memory of Rodney Saunders last night. (5/6/14)

YONKERS - Two Yonkers men have been arrested and charged with killing Rodney Saunders.

Police say Brian Espita, 22, and William Aguilar, 23, both of Yonkers, were charged with second-degree murder.

Saunders, a father of three who was expecting his fourth child in June, was gunned down last month outside a home on Woodworth Avenue. A candlelight vigil was held in the city's southwest side for Saunders Monday night.

READ MORE: Westchester Crime Stories

Family members tell News 12 the shooting was gang-related. Police have not yet determined if Espita and Aquilar were gang members, but they are looking into possible gang involvement. Friends say Saunders had recently been threatened by a gang member following a fight.

Investigators say there may be more arrests.

Members of the anti-gun violence group Operation SNUG are calling for an end to the senseless killings on the streets of Yonkers. "It doesn't make sense for there to be another murder taking place in our community. We need to value life a lot more than that, and every time there's a shooting in Yonkers we're going to make a stand," says John Thompson, of Operation SNUG.

A funeral service for Saunders is scheduled for Thursday night at the Kingdom Christian Cultural Center in Yonkers.

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