Family and friends of a slain Queens dad mourned his death Sunday with gold balloons and an array of candles and flowers outside his apartment building.
Yet relatives of Anthony Edwards said they’re puzzled why he was killed in a double shooting at the Astoria Houses Friday night — and are hoping the shooter is brought to justice.
“We’re heartbroken,” said a cousin, who didn’t give her name. “We lost somebody in our family who watched everybody grow up, protected everybody, cared for everybody, loved everybody, made sure everybody was having a good time.”
The 31-year-old father of six was standing outside one of the buildings of Astoria Blvd. housing development with a friend about 11:15 p.m. Friday when a gunman opened fire on them, cops said.
Edwards was hit twice in the face. He died at Mount Sinai Hospital-Queens.
A second man, 30, was hit in the groin as he tried to flee the barrage of bullets. He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital Center in stable condition.
Cops have made no arrests.
Edwards, who lived a building across the courtyard from where he was shot, was a father of five boys and one girl, his relatives said.
Three gold balloons spelled out his nickname, “Ant,” at the memorial at his building, while signs reading “RIP Ant,” and RIP Ant We Love You” hung from windows nearby.
“He was really loving and caring. Everyone loved him,” said his sister, who didn’t give her name. “He loved to be around his kids.”
“It sucks that he was taken from the family. We hope that we can get justice for this,” she added.
His cousin described him as the rock of his family.
“He wasn’t just a person, he wasn’t just a cousin, he was a staple in our family,” the cousin said. “Somebody decided they was ready for him to go.”
“All I’m going to say is everybody knows, anybody who knows Ant knows, that was not the way he was supposed to leave this Earth,” the cousin added. “That’s not how it was supposed to happen.”
The murder is the first of the year at the Astoria Houses complex, which last saw a slaying on April 9, 2020, when Darrian Ramdial, a 25-year-old Navy veteran and heating, ventilation and air conditioning technician was fatally shot while working outside one of the development’s towers. Police arrested Jerald Bethea, 19, in October, charging him with Ramdial’s murder.