NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The NYPD has released surveillance video of a Hamilton Heights shooting that left two men dead.
Police said 21-year-old Kenny Jimenez and 29-year-old Francisco Mercedez were gunned down just before 3 a.m. Sunday in front of a deli at Broadway and 151st Street.
Surveillance video captured the suspect walking near the scene of the shooting and then suddenly firing shots before taking off.
Police said Jimenez was shot in the neck and was pronounced dead at the scene. Mercedez was shot in the back and died at the hospital, police said.
“When they got shot, I was holding them,” friend Hector Melo told CBS 2’s Weijia Jiang. “They died in my hands. It was crazy. I’m mad at myself — I didn’t see the person.”
Melo told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones he grew up with both Mercedez and Jimenez.
“They were great people; great, talented young men,” he said. “And we want justice for both of them.”
Friend Fior Beras said she heard the gunfire.
“We were like, ‘is that shots?’ And we turned and they were both on the floor,” she said.
Loved ones have since turned the site of the shooting into a makeshift memorial, filling the sidewalk with bags of empty bottles, music and dozens of candles in honor of the lifelong friends.
“I wish I was there to help him,” Mercedez’s brother, Miguel Mercedez, said. “I felt like I lost everything. I lost my role model. I looked up to him. Right now, I feel lost.”
“I have no idea what happened,” said friend Vladmir Rivas. “I wish I could take their place.”
Some gathered at the memorial said the violence has to stop.
“Somebody has to do something,” one man told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell. “There’s just no words for this.”
Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic man who was wearing a short sleeve gray hooded sweatshirt, black t-shirt, camouflage shorts and white sneakers. They said he took off in a white Nissan Altima with dark tinted windows.
Police said at least one of the victims was the intended target.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit www.nypdcrimestoppers.com or text tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.
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