LOWER EAST SIDE — Relatives of the 29-year-old man who was shot to death outside a Forsyth Street barbershop Saturday night are planning a memorial for the young father.
Charles Fernandez, who had three young children, got into a fight with some men inside the barbershop at 110 Forsyth St. about 9:30 p.m. that night, police and relatives said.
When the argument spilled onto the sidewalk, one of the men pulled out a gun and shot Fernandez, relatives said.
Friends rushed Fernandez in a taxi to Bellevue Hospital Center, where he died.
The family will hold a memorial service at Provenzano Lanza Funeral Home on Second Avenue Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
No one has been arrested, the NYPD said.
Richard Fernandez, 30, the victim's brother, described Charles — who had two girls, ages 7 and 3, and a 2-year-old boy — as a loving, charismatic father who would do anything for his family.
“His joy was seeing his kids’ faces,” Richard Fernandez said. “For Christmas, he wouldn’t just buy people one gift. He’d shower them with gifts, and he didn’t want anything in return.”
Relatives said Charles Fernandez's children still do not know what happened to their dad.
“I’m trying to find the most educated way to tell them that puts the least amount of hurt on them as possible,” the heartbroken brother said.
Richard Fernandez, who claimed he was involved in Saturday night's fight, said the shooting was the latest act of violence in a beef that began New Year’s Day when some men from the neighborhood roughed up their 17-year-old cousin with baseball bats, and stole his wallet and phone.
It escalated when Charles Fernandez beat the man behind the attack, sparking yet another retaliation by the group, Richard Fernandez said.
“My brother could not stand bullies...could not stand gangs,” he said. “So Saturday night, we got word they were playing cards in a barbershop, and he wanted to go get them.”
But the hand-to-hand skirmish outside the barbershop turned fatal when one of the men pulled out a gun.
“Do we regret it? Wow, do we regret it,” Richard Fernandez said. “The thing that hurts the most was not being in the cab and not being able to say, ‘I love you.’”
Richard Fernandez said his brother — who attended Cardinal Hayes, La Salle Academy and Seward Park High School — was never involved with gangs.
Their father, Hector Fernandez, 57, pleaded for the violence to stop.
“I don’t want anyone else to suffer the way we’re suffering,” Hector Fernandez said.