The family of a man shot dead on a Harlem basketball court says he was an innocent bystander. Ackeem Green's grieving relatives speak to NBC 4 New York. Tracie Strahan reports.
Police are still searching for the person who opened fire at a Harlem basketball court on Sunday, killing 25-year-old Ackeem Green.
Three others were also wounded during the shooting at the court near West 129th Street and Seventh Avenue Sunday afternoon.
Relatives say Green was catching up with a friend on the basketball court when bullets began flying. Green was shot once in the head.
"I got to the hospital as quick as I could," Green's mother, Yolanda Pannell, told NBC 4 New York as she cried. "They operated on him for over two hours. Then they came out and said they had bad news. He didn't make it."
"I didn't believe it at first," she said. "I said, 'Ackeem? That's not true.'"
Green was a new father and had been a cadet in the Harlem Youth Marines program.
Col. Gregory Collins of the U.S. Marine Corps helped raise Green and said he wasn't the type of person who courted trouble.
"He wouldn't be involved in this," said Collins. "I wouldn't wish this on anybody, but Ackeem didn't deserve this."
The three wounded included a 23-year-old man who was shot once in the head, a 20-year-old man who was grazed in the head and a 19-year-old man who was shot once in the leg. All three were listed in stable condition.
It remains unclear if the shooting was a retaliation for a heated argument on the court, or if Green was an unintended target.
There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.
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