A terrifying video shows the moment a guy eating alone in a Washington Heights fish restaurant was shot in the head point-blank during a robbery.
The violent assault occurred just before 2 a.m. Wednesday at the Seafood King Fish Market on Broadway and West 163rd Street, while the 37-year-old victim was having a late-night dinner at the counter.
The NYPD revealed surveillance video of a masked robber carrying a distinctive blue revolver inches from the back of the customer’s head as he sits stooped over.
The thief appeared to be finished, having taken cash and phones, when he abruptly returned from leaving, placing the gun against the customer’s head and firing a shot, striking him in the right cheek.
“I don’t know if the victim saw it coming,” Commander Investigative Coordinator Detective Bureau Lt. John Russo told ABC 7 Eyewitness News
“It just seemed as the perpetrator was running out the door, he turned around and fired a shot.”
A colleague informed The Post on Thursday that the waitress, who was spotted hiding behind the counter at the time, is now so afraid that she may never return.
“She’s afraid,” said the staffer, who did not want to be named. “She won’t be there today.” She’s not sure if she’ll return.”
The suspect, who was dressed all in black and had a matching face mask, entered the neighborhood restaurant earlier, ordered meals, and then left.
He returned about 10 minutes later, went to the bathroom, and then emerged brandishing a gun, according to video footage.
The gunman asked that the restaurant cashier and the only customer hand over their cellphones, which they did, and then demanded that the worker deposit all of the cash from the register into a black plastic bag.
He then told the worker to get down, which caused her to stoop. The diner, who was still seated at the counter, ducked down as well.
Police say the suspect shot the man in the head at that instant before fleeing with his loot.
The man was airlifted to Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital, where he was listed in critical but stable condition.
“It was shocking,” Manny Reyes, the unidentified victim’s childhood friend, told ABC 7.
“He was eating when he turned around to wipe his mouth and was shot. I hope they get the perpetrator.”
The guy was seen in the video with a distinctive blue revolver, according to police.
“We’ve recovered one 9-millimeter shell casing at the scene,” Russo told the outlet.
“We’ll forensically process that to see if it matches any of the shell casings. On the face, it doesn’t appear to fit any other robberies or patterns that we have going on in the area.”
The suspect was described as being about 5 feet 5 inches tall with a medium complexion. He was last seen dressed in black, with a black helmet and mask on. Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying him.
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