Mom mourns Queens smoke shop worker shot by crooks who got away with just $150: ‘Wasn’t worth taking a life’
The heartbroken mother of a Queens smoke shop worker is decrying her son’s “senseless” killing during a gunpoint holdup in which the crooks got away with just $150.
“Over $150? It wasn’t worth it,” victim Daryus Clarke’s mom, Kiesha Clarke, said Sunday. “It wasn’t worth taking a life for $150. My child was worth more than $150.”
Daryus Clarke, 20, was gunned down working at The Plug, a smoke shop on Jamaica Ave. near 110th St. in Richmond Hill, when three men raided it about 12:15 p.m. on Saturday.
He had two brothers and a sister and was the oldest of the siblings, his mom said.
“He was a very jovial person. He was very happy. He liked playing his video games. He loved his brothers and sister,” she said. ““He wanted to go back to school, he wanted to be an aspiring rapper. ... Every day, he would just leave, go to work, come back and play his games.”
Daryus Clarke was helping set up his sister’s sweet 16 party for this Friday. He had no criminal history, cops said.
“I still can’t believe my son is gone,” Kiesha Clarke said. “I was just in shock because he left yesterday morning to go to work. He wasn’t no gangbanger. He had no issues with anyone so it’s just shocking and senseless.”
One of the crooks brandished a gun while his two accomplices started grabbing THC and tobacco products during the holdup, cops said. The gunman opened fire, hitting Daryus Clarke in the chest.
The robbers piled the stolen goods in their arms as they fled, dropping some pot products as they rushed into their getaway car, a white Toyota Camry.
The Camry driver sped off north on 110th St., cops said. Police have made no arrests.
Kiesha Clarke said she got word of her son’s death about two hours after the stickup.
“One of his friends came and told us he was already shot,” she said. “But we weren’t aware he was dead until my husband spoke to police.”
Cops confirmed the crooks got away with just $100 cash and $50 in merchandise.
“I haven’t slept all night,” Kiesha Clarke said. “They don’t think about the victim’s family or who they’re hurting.”
“The shop just opened up in the fall and he’s been there since it’s been open,” she added. “I didn’t have concerns about him working there. He worked at another place before so he’s been working for a while.”
Just three New York City stores are licensed to sell cannabis, all of them in Manhattan, according to a spokesman for the state Office of Cannabis Management.
Back in January, Mayor Adams criticized rules that prevent cops from taking action against unlicensed weed shops and said their all-cash nature has led to an increase in robberies.
“They are creating some of the upticks that we’re seeing in commercial robberies,” he said. His remarks came about two weeks after a clerk at an unlicensed Lower East Side weed shop was shot and wounded during a stickup.
“They just need to find a way to get these guns out of the hands of these young kids. My son didn’t need to lose his life [for] something so senseless‚” Kiesha Clarke said. “You hear about these things on the news, but it never occurs to you that it could be your child.”