By Ben Fractenberg
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The family of a 24-year-old father said he was working to make a better life for himself and his young daughter before he was gunned down in Washington Heights on Monday.
Geuris Tejada was shot in the shoulder and neck at 177th Street and Broadway Monday about 11:30 p.m., police said. He was rushed to Columbia Presbyterian hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Tejada, the father of a 2-year-old girl Arianne, was shot inside the building before stumbling outside and succumbing to his wounds, the Daily News reported.
Police arrested three men after the incident and recovered the possible murder weapon, according to the NYPD.
Tejada was reportedly arrested twice on drug charges as a teenager, but his cousin said he'd worked to change his life and put his criminal past behind him.
"People want to talk about his [drug] arrests and not judge a person by what they’re doing now," said his cousin, Marolin Jimenez, 21. "He had a job and was trying to better himself."
Tejada completed a Jobs Corps training program and was working as a salesman in a Bronx auto shop, his cousin said.
"I miss him," said Arltagracia, a 21-year-old friend of Tejada who would only give her first name. "He was a good boy."
Jimenez said she does not know the men who shot her cousin, but said he told her recently he felt "unsafe."
The accused killers, Amalachi Alexis, 22, Jonathan Collazo, 21, and another 15-year-old man, all from Jersey City, are charged with second-degree murder, police said.