Imani Armstrong Wiki
Imani Armstrong Biography
Who was Imani Armstrong ?
A troubled exotic dancer who recently separated from his wife and lost their children to foster care was shot to death on a Gramercy Park sidewalk early Thursday, police and witnesses said.
Imani Armstrong was on her way home from a late shift at her other job at an IHOP around 5 a.m. when a masked gunman sneaked up and shot him in the back of the head at East 14th Street and Irving Place.
“When I heard the shot, I was like, ‘Oh shit. It was like a loud bang. . . I heard a gunshot and then silence,” said Maximillian Stebelsky, 18, a neuroscience student who lives in a nearby New York University dorm.
“I never predicted something like this would happen, especially across the street from where I live.”
The motive for the killing is unknown, but the shooting was not random, police said.
The woman’s body was covered with a sheet as police investigated the predawn shooting one block from Union Square.
“The individual was attacked,” Department Chief Kenneth Corey said Thursday. “We have several suspects that we are investigating, but we don’t want to commit to anything at this time. But I feel very comfortable saying that it was not a random attack.”
The shooter and a woman, both dressed in black, were seen fleeing north, but the woman may have been a bystander fleeing gunfire, sources said.
The tragedy comes after a bit of bad luck for Armstrong, who had just been served divorce papers by her wife and moved out of the apartment they shared about a month ago.
Her children have been in foster care on Staten Island and she was attending anger management classes in hopes of getting them back, co-workers told The Post. But before the murder, it didn’t seem like “he had anything on his mind,” a co-worker said.
“She was happy. She was greeting customers and all that,” a co-worker from IHOP told The Post of Armstrong’s final minutes.
He had overstayed his regular shift because the restaurant was busy and headed toward 14th Street to catch the train as he normally did when he was out for the day, the co-worker said. Armstrong, who was originally from Texas, had been trying to get better, the IHOP employee said.
“She was good. She worked well,” the co-worker said. “She got along with everyone. She knew a lot of people around here.”
Armstrong, who danced under the name “Red,” was fighting to get her children back and had recently been robbed by a friend at the club where she dances, her co-worker said. She also had problems at home.
Police had been called to a Queens apartment in January 2021 where she and her partner argued about her children and her partner strangled her and pushed her to the ground, sources said.
Armstrong told her co-worker that her ex had reached out last week via text saying “I love you, I miss you,” the co-worker said.
“I told him, ‘Don’t be fooled. Don’t answer,’” the co-worker said. “I knew that they took her children away from her because of that lady.
A 56-year-old man who gave his first name, Manny, said he was working on the coffee cart near him when the shooting occurred.
“I was in here cooking when I heard a loud bang,” Manny said. “I was like, ‘Oh shit, what was that?’ I thought it was a car or truck [that] crashed. I ran out and saw the lady on the sidewalk.”
Before the shooting, “I didn’t hear any commotion, nothing,” he said.
When he saw the body, Manny thought, “Oh my God. I was wondering if he had kids, what about his family,” he said.
There were other people around “who called 911,” so he didn’t, he said.
“It’s a shame,” Manny said. “You have these people killing each other. They kill someone and the system lets them go. They are back on the streets and doing the same thing again. It’s crazy.”
“The president, the politicians, they are not doing anything about it. All they think about is voting again,” he said. “You’ve got some sick and fucked up people here.”