NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A community is in shock after two armed men opened fire in broad daylight, killing an innocent man.
Police said 79-year-old Andy Burke was sitting outside a barbershop along Marcus Garvey Boulevard in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood when he was caught in a shootout around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday evening.
The victim’s son, Stephen Kennedy, is reeling after getting the worst news of his life.
“Just you know, a lot of hurt. I mean, me and my dad was real close,” he told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.
Some witnesses ran up to try and help Burke as he lay in a pool of blood.
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports from Bed-Stuy
“And he’s reaching up, trying to reach for me, and I can’t even help him. I can’t do nothing to help him,” one neighbor recounted.
Burke was struck in the neck, and died at Interfaith Medical Center. Police said the two suspects shot at least four bullets. Surveillance video showed them fleeing the scene.
Neighbors told CBS 2’s Kristin Thorne that Burke was well-known and respected in the community.
“He’s been in this neighborhood so long. He never bothered nobody. And now his family have to prepare for a funeral and everything. It’ s not right,” the neighbor said.
From the Bed-Stuy neighborhood, where Burke grew up, to the East New York apartment building where he has lived for the last 10 years, those who knew him best are saddened by a senseless loss.
“He was a good man. He was the greatest,” said Ramonita Rivera Kennedy, the victim’s daughter-in-law.
“I can’t believe it…I can’t tell you anymore because we were just friends,” Connie Richardson said. “There’s so many guns, it’s just like they say, there’s too many damn guns out here.”
Police are stepping up patrols and working to track down the gunman. Burke’s son said he won’t rest until his father’s killer is behind bars.
“No matter what I do or what I say, it’s not gonna bring him back. I just hope justice is served,” said Kennedy.
Watch video of the incident below:
Meanwhile, a group of local community activists rallied against gun violence Thursday morning.
1010 WINS’ Glen Schuck Reports From The Rally
“Young people need to come together. We need to find out what’s going on and get this thing right, because we don’t need to be out here shooting at each other like this,” the neighbor added.
“Since when has a haircut become a death sentence?” asked Tony Herbert from the Urban Community Council.
Herbert and other frustrated community activists are up in arms after an epidemic of deadly shootings and held a Stop the Madness rally in East Harlem, where three people were shot Wednesday night.
Rev. Vernon Williams demanded help from City Hall and from Washington.
“What? You can solve the problems in Israel, Mr. Obama, but you can’t solve the problems on 3rd Avenue? There’s war right here. We need the resources right here in our community,” he said.
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