HARLEM, NY – A drive-by shooting on Wednesday morning claimed the life of a 65-year-old man, Anthony Williams, who was a beloved figure in his Harlem neighborhood. Known for his sidewalk jerk chicken business, Williams was at West 142 Street and Lenox Avenue when a black car pulled up and an occupant inside of the vehicle opened fire.
Williams was critically injured with a chest wound and was rushed to Harlem Hospital, where he was later declared dead, NYPD confirmed. Leah Middleton, Williams’ niece, remembered him as a kind-hearted man who was always present at the corner, engaging with everyone and selling food.
The shooting seems to have been a targeted attack, according to police sources. The motive behind the attack is still under investigation and no arrests have been made so far. A makeshift memorial has been set up by neighbors in honor of Williams.
Middleton, who has fond childhood memories of her uncle cooking breakfast for the family, expressed her uncertainty about what led to the shooting. Dolina Duzant, a resident living across the street from the crime scene and a self-proclaimed community advocate, described Williams as a family man and an all-around nice person. She recalled passing by his regular spot on the street everyday on her way to the deli.
Duzant called the shooter “a coward” and urged them to turn themselves in. Teresa Acevedo, another local resident, was devastated to learn about the fatal shooting. She described Williams, who was “very well known” on the block, as a man who would “give you the shirt off his back.”