Boy, 16, arrested for Manhattan shooting that left 2 dead, wounded bystander

A 16-year-old boy has been arrested for a shooting outside a Manhattan smoke shop that left two men dead and a third man wounded by a stray bullet, police said Wednesday.

The teen was taken into custody Tuesday and charged with murder and gun possession, according to cops. His name was not released by the NYPD because he is a juvenile.

Startling surveillance video obtained by the Daily News shows two men talking outside the Blue Sky Smoke Shop at W. 207th St. and 10th Ave. in Inwood when the shooter, wearing a black ski mask, opens fire at them from across the street around 11:40 p.m. on Sunday.

One of the men is seen dropping to the sidewalk, then lifting his head to shout twice, “Call an ambulance.”

Michael James, 44, was shot in the face. He was rushed by medics to Harlem Hospital, where he died just after midnight Monday. The shooter’s other target, 45-year-old Alejandro Ramirez, died at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital minutes later, cops said.

On Wednesday, Ramirez, who was known as Alex, was mourned by staff and customers alike at his longtime workplace, Johnny’s Pizza on Dyckman St. near Post Ave., about four blocks from where he was killed.

“Your heart’s broke. You feel like every day now, you want to remember him. This business is a family,” said Kostantinos Ieromonahos, co-owner of the pizzeria.

“I think I’m sleeping, and it’s a dream and I’ll wake up and everything’s gonna be fine. Because he worked here eight hours a day,” said Ieromonahos, 42. “I’m not only to him, the boss. No, I’m a friend. … I trust for him everything. He have keys to my business.”

Ieromonahos said after work, Ramirez walked to the corner where he was killed Sunday night to meet his roommate at Jimbo’s Hamburger Palace, where the roommate works. The two men had just began walking home to their Bronx apartment together when Ramirez was shot. The roommate was not injured.

“[The roommate] opened the door to leave to go. Alex took a couple steps next to him, and they shoot him,” Ieromonahos said.

Ramirez, a father of one, had enjoyed a caramel chocolate Father’s Day cake with co-workers just a few hours before his death, said the pizzeria owner.

“He did service. He serviced people. He had good communication with people. He always had a smile. Over here 10 years he’s working here, I’ve never seen him mad. He never mad. He’s happy,” said Ieromonahos.

An online fundraiser for Ramirez’s funeral brought in almost $9,000 in less than 18 hours.

“My family affectionately has a secret nickname for everyone at Johnny’s. Alex was ‘Smiley.’ You didn’t even have be in the shop, just walking by, and if you looked in that window, there he was with a wave and smile for you!” customer Lindsay Harris wrote on the fundraiser’s page.

“Our community has lost a special man who will be sorely missed. Rest In Peace, Smiley,” Harris concluded.

Junior, 52, the manager at Jimbo’s Hamburger Palace, said he last saw Ramirez the day before he was killed.

“He was kind. He was friendly. Sometimes he brings food. Saturday afternoon, he came to see his friend. He brought him lunch. He gave it to the friend and then he left.”

After Ramirez was shot, the night staff at Jimbo’s rushed to Ramirez’s aid, said the manager.

“He [Alex] pulled the door [to Jimbo’s] open but the door was closed,” Junior said. “He couldn’t stand up. [Staff] tried to come help him. My son helped put something under his shirt. He wrapped it. Not much he could do, it was too much blood.”

Junior said Ramirez’s generosity was widely known.

“Everybody speaks about it. One lady said, ‘When I didn’t have enough money, [Alex] gave [pizza] to me sometimes for free’. Usually my son when he goes over there, he won’t charge him for the pizza or the drink.”

A bystander was celebrating Father’s Day with friends when he stepped out on the street to take a call and ended up being grazed by a bullet on his knee.

“Somebody called me and I go out because the music’s too loud at the place,” the 36-year-old man, who asked to remain anonymous, told The News on Sunday.

He looked down and saw the injury to his knee.

“I feel hot and that’s it,” the man said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Ieromonahos said there had been a steady stream of people stopping by the pizzeria to express their sorrow and their shock.

“The customers come and they’re crying and they say they don’t believe that it happened. They don’t believe it. The way he go. He was working and he go home, and you have a shooting because of some kid.”