Relatives of Queens man stabbed to death in bar brawl over tattoos seek answers after killer is let go

The family of slain Queens man John Savillo seeks answers after his killer was released.

The family of a Queens man who was fatally stabbed in a bar brawl over his companion’s tattoos wants answers after his killer was set free.

“It’s an injustice that this man is allowed to go on with his life,” John Andriano, nephew of victim John Savillo, said Saturday.

“Meanwhile his wife is left to make funeral arrangements.”

The 55-year-old Savillo was hanging out with a 35-year-old gal pal at Cookie’s Lounge on Cross Bay Blvd. in Ozone Park early Thursday when a couple remarked on her tattoos.

Savillo took offense and began arguing with the pair, sources said.

The feud quickly turned violent when Savillo broke a chair over the 36-year-old man’s head and then started choking him.

As the brawl escalated, the man, Kenneth Shaw, whipped out a knife and stabbed Savillo in the chest and stomach, sources said.

Mortally wounded, with his intestines sliced up and liver punctured, Savillo staggered to the bar.

The bartender applied pressure to Savillo’s wounds and called 911, sources said.

The bleeding victim was rushed to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition, where he underwent several hours of surgery.

But doctors couldn’t save him — Savillo, of Ozone Park, was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon.

Shaw surrendered to authorities a few hours later and handed over the murder weapon.

Since his statements to police aligned with witness accounts that Savillo was the aggressor, Shaw was let go, authorities said.

Savillo, 55, was fatally stabbed in a bar brawl over his companion’s tattoos.


“We are declining prosecution pending further investigation,” said a spokesman for the Queens District Attorney’s office.

The victim’s nephew said the family only found out about Shaw’s release after reading about it in the Daily News.

“The cops haven’t told us anything,” Andriano said.

“Anything that we’ve heard, we’ve learned from the articles. No officer called us. No one called his wife.”

Andriano said his uncle, a father of eight, was a construction worker with a good sense of humor and a slight frame.

“Five-foot-six on a good day, 140 pounds soaking wet,” Andriano said.

“He was an all-around good guy. Never hurt anybody.

“He was always having a good time, making everybody laugh. You can ask anybody around the neighborhood. He’d stick up for you. He was that sort of guy. That’s how I’ve known him my whole life.”

A woman sitting on the patio at Shaw’s Ozone Park home declined to comment Saturday.

“Leave us alone,” she added.

Reached Saturday, Savillo’s wife Lorraine declined to weigh in on the decision to release Shaw.

“We’re devastated,” she said.

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