Queens middle school teacher David Rangel, 53, was found strangled in his apartment this weekend. Police suspect that Rangel may have met his killer online and are inspecting his computer’s history.
Rangel taught Spanish to seventh and eighth graders at the Paul Klapper School (P.S./M.S. 219) in Flushing, where the flag flew at half-mast Monday. “Everyone was walking around, mourning,” student Michael Shahedi, 13, said at the end of the school day. “I’d always see him pull up in his small yellow car and he’d say hi to me as he got out.” “He was fun,” said Denali Rivera, 7, a second grader who had Rangel as a substitute teacher. “He was a very smart teacher. He never got mad.” Investigators removed a computer from Rangel’s apartment Monday. On Friday, the last day he was seen alive, Rangel posted a light-hearted stream of funny photos, cartoons and nature shots on his Facebook page.
Rangel has not yet been identified as gay by local media, but the NYC Anti-Violence Project has done so today via a press release that includes warnings to take caution when meeting new people via websites or smartphone apps. Read the AVP’s tips regarding online safety.
RELATED: In 2010 openly gay ABC News reporter George Weber was stabbed to death by a 16 year-old prostitute Weber met on Craigslist. In December 2011 the killer, who was tried as an adult, was sentenced to life in prison.