A 65-year-old man beloved in his neighborhood was killed in a drive-by shooting outside his Harlem apartment on Wednesday morning, according to police and sources.
Anthony Williams — known for selling jerk chicken on the sidewalk — was at West 142 Street and Lenox Avenue when a black car pulled up and someone inside opened fire, cops and sources said.
Williams was struck in the chest, taken to Harlem Hospital in critical condition and soon pronounced dead, according to the NYPD.
“He’s a good guy. He was always here on the corner just talking to everybody and being nice and he used to sell food,” said the victim’s heartbroken niece, Leah Middleton.
The shooting appears to have been targeted, police sources said.
The motive remains under investigation. No arrests have been made, police said.
Neighbors paid their respects to the victim at a makeshift memorial nearby.
Middleton, who said she had fond memories of her uncle cooking breakfast for the family when she was young, was unsure what led to the shooting.
“I just saw him the other day. He’s always here,” the niece said. “You see how many people are out here and you see everybody knows him, he’s a great guy.”
Dolina Duzant, a self-described community advocate who lives across the street from the scene, described Williams as “a family man” who was “an absolutely all-around nice person.” She said she’d pass by his regular spot on the street everyday on her way to the deli.
“You can’t say nothing bad thing about his character or who he was as a person because his actions said it all,” she said. “Always helping out the community and always doing good things to the community.”
She called the shooter “a coward” and said they should turn themselves in.
Neighborhood resident Teresa Acevedo said she was devastated to learn about the fatal shooting. She said Williams, who was “very well known” on the block, would “give you the shirt off his back.”
“He comes out every morning and play music. All he did was play music and cook food for everybody. He was a really nice guy,” she said.
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