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Young Dad Gunned Down on Harlem Basketball Court Remembered as 'Great Dude'

By  Trevor Kapp Chelsia Rose Marcius and Wil Cruz | June 4, 2012 6:59am | Updated on June 4, 2012 6:08pm

Ackeem Green, 25, and his son, Carmelo Ackeem. The father was shot and killed on June 3, 2012.
Ackeem Green, 25, and his son, Carmelo Ackeem. The father was shot and killed on June 3, 2012.
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NEW YORK — A young Harlem father who was gunned down in a basketball court was remembered by friends and relatives Monday as a "great dude" who adored his baby son.

Ackeem Green, 25, and three other victims were shot Sunday afternoon on the courts at West 129th Street and Seventh Avenue, police said.

Asheena Moore, 25, Green's fiance and the mother of his two-month-son, Carmelo, said she spoke to him on the phone moments before the shooting.

"I was screaming," Moore, Green's partner for four years, said of her reaction when she heard the news. "I was crying."

Wounded in the back, Green was pronounced dead at the scene.

"You hear about these things, but when it happens to you, it hits home," said Green's aunt, Sandy Colon, 49.

No one has been arrested in the shooting, police said Monday.

The other victims survived the gunfire. Joseph Scott, 23, and Jamel Nunnally, 20, were both shot in the head and Raheem Wiggins, 19, was struck in the leg. They were all transported to Harlem Hospital, where they were listed in stable condition, police said.

An NYPD spokesman said investigators didn't think the shooting involved a dispute on the basketball court.

"Shots just came out of nowhere," he said. "It's unknown at this point whether it was contention, or stray rounds."

Sources said the violence may be connected to a longstanding beef between warring crews from Lenox Avenue and the St. Nicholas Houses.

Moore believed Green was an innocent bystander.

"This was not gang-related," she said. "It was just a pick-up game of ball with his cousins and friends, and he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

A stock coordinator at the Aldo Shoes, Green always remained upbeat despite long, hard hours at the Times Square store.

"He was a great worker, always positive," said Edwin Cepeda, an assistant manager at the store. "I never met anybody more self-motivated than him. Very professional."

Cepeda added that Green, who worked at the store for about eight months, was punctual, energetic and committed to the job. He even showed for a staff meeting on his off-day Sunday — just hours before he was shot to death.

"That's how dedicated he was," Cepeda added.

Green's co-workers were still coming to grips that their friend was shot in cold blood.

"It's hard on all of us. We're all in mourning, just not the same," Cepeda said. "I still don't believe it happened. It's hard to talk about. Just a great dude."

Green was also an alumnus of the Harlem Youth Marines Inc., a non-profit youth organization that serves children between the ages of 7 to 20 years old.

"We are saddened to announce the passing of former HYMC 1st Sgt. Ackeem Green," the organization tweeted on Monday. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Green & Pannell Family!"

His true passion, however, was fatherhood, a role he embraced even before his two-month son, Carmelo Ackeem, was born.

"I'll always remember during my pregnancy how much he wanted to make sure I was okay and smiling," Moore said. "This was his first one, and he loved his son to death, and no one could tell him otherwise. His pride and joy looks just like him and will carry his name."

But now the boy will have to hear secondhand about how much his father doted on him, relatives and friend said.

"It's just unbelievable," Colon said. "Now a little boy has to be raised without his father."

Alan Neuhauser and Jeff Mays contributed to this article.