Akebulon Reeves went above and beyond to make the basketball courts on E. 119th St. near Third Ave. look extraordinary. He adorned the area with a stunning balloon arch in pink, green, and gold hues. In addition, he spelled out “McKenna’s 1st B-day” in eye-catching letters, adding a vibrant touch to the celebration.
At the party, cutouts of various jungle animals were placed in front of a table that was adorned in pink. The gathering was attended by the little girl’s close family and friends, who came to celebrate the occasion. Although the young girl may not remember the event, it was still a memorable time for all in attendance.
The authorities have not made any arrests yet, leaving the family members in the dark about what could have happened.
According to Howard Sellers, the brother of Reeves, “We’re still trying to make sense of what happened. Our entire family, including McKenna, was on the same block celebrating her birthday. I don’t think he would have put anyone in harm’s way if he had known.” The family is still trying to piece together the events that led to the tragic incident.
According to authorities, Reeves was fatally shot on Wednesday morning at around 10 a.m. The assailant, who was wearing a mask, escaped on a scooter with another individual. Witnesses reported that the gunman fired three or four shots before his firearm malfunctioned. They also commented that the situation could have been far more catastrophic if the shooter had been able to continue firing.
After being struck in the chest and torso, Reeves was given CPR by a nearby resident before medical assistance arrived. Despite their efforts, he was unable to recover and was transported to Metropolitan Hospital. Unfortunately, he was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.
According to Stella Williams, the mother of the baby, the victim frequently wore a gold chain featuring a circular pendant holding a photo of McKenna as a newborn. Williams believes that Reeves was still wearing the chain when he passed away.
In an interview with the Daily News, she expressed her sadness over the loss of someone who clearly loved his partner deeply. She speculated that he may have even passed away wearing the chain that symbolized their connection.
After being convicted of attempted murder, Reeves spent a significant amount of time in prison. However, in 2021, he was finally released. Since then, he has been taking active steps towards rebuilding his life. He has started working in a trade and has even started a family, showing a strong desire to move forward and leave his past behind. Williams acknowledged Reeves’ efforts and commitment to turning his life around.
According to her, he had just been released from prison and was in the process of rebuilding his life, starting a family, and pursuing his dreams. Unfortunately, he never had the chance to realize his goals and aspirations before his untimely death fully. It is a tragedy that he could not live the life he had envisioned for himself.
According to the speaker, the individual in question was involved in construction and contract work. They were also in the process of obtaining their OSHA license. The person had a solid support system, including their older brother Howie, the speaker, and their child, McKenna. The arrival of their child helped them gain a new perspective on life.
His daughter was sort of a surprise.
“It was unexpected,” Williams said. “It was something that he did want. He did want a family. So he was super excited … We didn’t want to wait to do a gender reveal. We did a blood test to let you get the gender early. So we did it early and found out she was a girl and he fell on the floor.”
Williams said McKenna changed his life.
“They do voices and stuff together,” she said. “He takes her to the basketball park. He was a basketball superstar growing up. Even in the community, in Harlem, that’s what he is known for, for basketball.”
After her mother fell ill, Williams made the decision to relocate to South Carolina to be closer to her. Interestingly, Reeves also had a connection to the South that brought them together.
“I met him in elementary school in North Carolina near Fayetteville in a town so tiny,” Williams said. “He is originally from New York, and then he moved to North Carolina. He was in fifth grade. I was in sixth grade. He was there until his junior year of high school. He completed his senior year of high school in New York.
“He has been a part of my life since childhood. He was my very first boyfriend, and we shared a special bond as each other’s first love. However, as we grew up, life took us on different paths,” she explained. “Fortunately, destiny brought us back together when I moved to New York, and we rekindled our connection.”
Williams brought McKenna back to celebrate her birthday on August 30th.
According to Sellers, his brother was the youngest among nine siblings.
“I’m trying to be the rock,” the sibling said. “I have been thinking four steps ahead trying to make funeral arrangements. That’s really where we are. Mom is just torn. She’s at the apartment sitting with his belongings.”
The prevalence of gun violence has become a major concern for many individuals, including Sellers, who strongly believes that action needs to be taken to put an end to it.
“Life really is priceless and we really need to value good people,” he said. “This is going to be a continued cycle. I looked at everyone’s face yesterday as we lit candles for him at the vigils. No one obviously was expecting it.
“Tomorrow isn’t granted and we really need to appreciate what we’re given. He didn’t deserve it.”
As Sellers reminisced about the party, he couldn’t help but remember his brother’s infectious mood that night. It was hard to tell who was enjoying themselves more, his brother or McKenna. The vibrant energy from both of them created an unforgettable atmosphere that left a lasting impression on Sellers.
“He bought her a little remote-control car and we were unsure how she would take to it,” the brother said. “She got into that car and we couldn’t get her out of it. And just to see his face like, ‘I did that. She’s happy.’”
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