HAMILTON HEIGHTS — A rapper and his friend were killed when a gunman opened fire on them outside a Hamilton Heights bodega Sunday morning before hopping into a white sedan and fleeing the scene, police said.
Francisco Mercedez, 29, who performed as Summa, had just returned from his record release party in Connecticut and was standing with his friend Kenny Jimenez, 21, outside Fedel Gourmet Deli, at 3661 Broadway, just before 3 a.m. when the suspect shot Jimenez in the neck and Mercedez in the back, friends and the NYPD said.
"The car came down the block and one second later, the guy came out. He shot and then he shot again. He shot both of them," said witness Hector Melo.
"I just saw both of them on the ground. Kenny was bleeding out of his mouth and neck. I did everything I could. I tried to take the blood out of his mouth, but he couldn’t breathe," Melo added.
Mercedez, of High Bridge, The Bronx, and Jimenez, who lived a few doors from the shooting, were both taken to Harlem Hospital and pronounced dead, police said.
Surveillance video released by investigators shows the shooter, who was wearing a sleeveless gray hoodie and camouflage cargo shorts, lift his handgun and fire, according to the NYPD.
The suspect then hopped into a white Nissan Altima with tinted windows and drove away, police said.
The shooting rattled the community and mourners were still gathered at the scene which was marked by a sea of candles and written tributes to the two men Monday. A speaker played songs like "I'll be Missing You" by Puff Daddy.
Friends said that Mercedez used to live near where he was gunned down and that the two shooting victims had known each other for years.
"[Mercedez] used to live up the block. He'd seen Kenny [Jimenez] grow up. Kenny admired him because he wasn't into trouble and was all about that music," said friend and neighbor Kremlin Felipe, 23.
"No one can believe what happened."
Mercedez posted a photo to Instagram of himself performing on the same day of the fatal shooting.
"I love putting in that work show the world I ain't playing when it comes to this music," he wrote.
After his death, people started posting eulogies in the comments.
"Always watching out for everyone in the block, I'll always remember your approachable personality. Rest in peace @summagtm," @cheffbabyyenny wrote.
Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477).