NYC shooting victim said gunman demanded he pull down mask – New York Daily News

A man who survived a shooting outside an Upper West Side barbershop said Tuesday the gunman demanded he pull down his mask and show his face before pulling the trigger.
Liton Ward, 45, was still wearing his hospital clothes as he recounted the Monday evening shooting from his home, asserting he didn’t know the gunman and wasn’t involved in any trouble that would single him out as a target.
“It is a messed up situation,” Ward said. “It was a crazy situation, that’s all I can say.”
Ward was shot in the stomach by a gunman who stepped out of a black sedan on W. 105th St. near Columbus Ave. about 6:30 p.m. Monday.
A stray bullet also struck an 81-year-old man in the foot outside the Maria Beauty Salon, a barbershop on Columbus Ave. Witnesses describe the older man as a neighborhood mainstay who frequently sits outside the barbershop, chatting with friends.
“I don’t know these people. He wanted me to take my mask off,” Ward said. “I told him ‘I’m not taking my mask off, nobody’s gonna make me take my mask off,’ and basically, ‘F— you.’”
Ward walked into a nearby store, he said, and when he came back out, the gunman was trying to get behind him.
“I confronted him, he stepped back and be shot me. In broad daylight,” Ward said.
Police were still investigating the shooting as Ward recovered in his home about two blocks away from the scene.
“A little sore, but it didn’t go through my lungs, just in and out, so that’s what it is,” he said. “I’m not in any considerable amount of pain, but I’m sore.”
Ward descried the shooter as “a little kid, maybe 26, 24 years old.”
“(He) wanted to see my face, I had a full mask on. I was like, I’m not doing all of that,” he said. “After the pandemic, people are not in their right state of mind. They haven’t been for a while. I started to realize that there are a lot of shootings.”
Ward said he works in the facilities department at the Empire State Building, and he stopped at a store near W. 105th and Columbus Ave. on his way home from his job.
“He doesn’t know me, he’s never even seen my face because I didn’t remove my mask. So he doesn’t even know who he was shooting at, which is crazy,” he said of the shooter.
“He’s probably involved with some silly nonsense that’s going on around the block. But again, I don’t deal with none of that stuff. When I walk out of here, I’m not worried about none of that because I’m not involved.,” he said.
Ward said he’s worried about post-traumatic stress disorder after the shooting, “But right now it’s just, ‘How did this all happen?’”
But he has some advice for his attacker.
“You can’t just go and do whatever you want,” he said. “If you were a man you’d understand, but like I said, he’s a kid. You can’t have a shootout in broad daylight. You shot me and you shot somebody else that didn’t have nothing to do with anything.”
“There are gonna be consequences, you can’t walk around doing that. Everybody knows who you are now, you put the spotlight on yourself,” he added.
Police have made no arrests in the shooting.


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