The 22-year-old, whose name wasn't immediately released, was on Webster Avenue near East 169th Street, about 3:30 a.m. when another man came up behind him and put a gun to his right cheek and pulled the trigger, an NYPD spokesman said.
The victim heard the bang of the gunshot and turned around before he felt the surge of pain and realized he'd been shot, police said.
Police said the victim had been ordering food from a bodega service window near 1225 Webster Ave. when he was shot.
Neighbors, however, said he was outside 1330 Webster Ave. at the Butler Houses and near a senior center.
The victim was treated at Lincoln Medical Center, where he's listed in stable condition, police said.
The suspect fled the scene and wasn't immediately arrested, NYPD officials said.
It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the shooting.
Neighbors weren't surprised by news of the Friday morning's gun violence.
"Almost every night there's cases like that. There are gun shots. Four out of seven days in the week I hear something happening. It's nothing new," said Jose Ramirez, who lives in a nearby public housing complex.
"I'm glad I live on one of the highest floors so I know I won't get hurt," Ramirez added.