New York Daily News

Fatally shot on a visit to his old nabe

- BY BRITTANY KRIEGSTEIN AND JOHN ANNESE

A Westcheste­r County man who returned to his old Bronx stomping grounds to visit friends was killed by a team of gunmen in a chilling caught-on-video attack.

Erik Hernandez, 37, of White Plains and a second man were hanging out by the Chicken Deli Grocery in Belmont when four armed men ambushed them (top) Sunday night.

Hernandez was fatally shot in the chest; the second victim, 31, was grazed in the head and shot in the arm, police said. The second victim, who suffered a skull fracture, was taken to St. Barnabas Hospital in critical condition.

Surveillan­ce video shows a wild scene, with the four men rushing up to the victims and opening fire at the corner of E. 180th St. and Monterey Ave. Hernandez grew up in the area, and his ties ran deep, said his father, Edward Hernandez, 65.

“That neighborho­od, It’s one of those places that you live and you leave and you wish your children will never go back to,” the elder Hernandez said. “Whenever I spoke to him, that area was mentioned. I would mention my concern.”

“When you’re in the Bronx, you have to pay attention all the time, because it doesn’t necessaril­y have to be meant for you,” he added.

Hernandez — the youngest of three sons — lived with his parents and was trying to get his life back on track, his family told the Daily News.

He used to work as a driver for his dad’s small emergency medical transporta­tion company, but the COVID-19 pandemic took a toll on the business, the elder Hernandez said. “This is another one of those results of COVID,” Hernandez said. “He worked nine, 10 hours a day. He wouldn’t have been in that situation.”

Hernandez and his father would pass the time talking, and most recently, they chatted about how he was waiting to get a passport renewed so he could go to a wedding. It was the last thing they spoke about.

Hernandez’s distraught mother — too overwhelme­d with grief to give her name — said she didn’t know much about what led to the shooting.

“He was a good person,” she said. “He was trying to get himself together . ... The only thing I know is that he had friends over there.”

Police have not made any arrests in the shooting.

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