Elliot Caldwell, a 23-year-old with a 3-year-old son, was fatally shot outside 635 E. 12th St., near Avenue C, about 10:44 p.m., by a man in a red hoodie, an NYPD spokesman said.
Caldwell, who lived nearby on 12th Street, was pronounced dead at Bellevue Hospital, police said.
"There were 30 people at Bellevue last night. Everyone was screaming, crying," said a woman who identified herself as Caldwell's aunt.
"He was a great father. He changed his life for his son. He just got caught up in a bad situation," she said.
"He had a good heart. I saw him yesterday afternoon. It was just love," she added.
The suspect was not immediately arrested, according to authorities.
It wasn't immediately clear what sparked the shooting, police said.