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Messiah Nantwi

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Messiah Nantwi, 21, is accused of killing a man inside a Harlem smoke shop Sunday night. Police say he’s also accused of killing a teen on …

A 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the gruesome execution-style murder of a 36-year-old man in a Harlem cigar store, and authorities allege that wasn’t even his first murder of the weekend.

New York police said Tuesday that Messiah Nantwi, of Manhattan, had been arrested on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the brazen shooting, which unfolded in front of nearly half a dozen terrified witnesses at a cigar store in New York City. Lenox Avenue on Sunday night. . Everything was captured by the store’s surveillance cameras.

Suspect Charged

Also Tuesday, New York police said the same suspect was charged with murder in a Saturday afternoon shooting in East Harlem. In that case, a 19-year-old was shot in the head near Madison Avenue and East 132nd Street. It was broad daylight, not even 4 p.m. — and the victim was pronounced dead at a hospital. The circumstances were not clear.

As for the tobacco store victim, New York police identified him Tuesday as Brandon Brunson of Brooklyn. The horror on Sunday unfolded after an apparent argument between him and Nantwi, according to police and security video. Nantwi allegedly shot Brunson in the head, then saw him move and fired again before casually walking out of the store.

It was not immediately clear if Nantwi had an attorney. More details on both cases are expected later on Tuesday.

The shooting arrests last weekend aren’t the first either. According to the NYPD, Nantwi is the same man who allegedly opened fire on officers during a graffiti stop in February 2021. Nantwi was 18 at the time. According to the indictment, Nantwi fired three shots at two officers and a sergeant, who returned 31 shots, hitting him multiple times.

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The then 18-year-old was charged with attempted murder of police officers. None of the policemen were injured. Nantwi was hospitalized for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds at the time.

When asked about the status of that case Tuesday, the Bronx district attorney’s office said he was pending. A spokesman said Nantwi posted $30,000 bail after a judge reduced it at the defense’s request. It was not clear when he was released.

The latest incident has residents fed up with the violence in their community.

“I don’t get why they can’t just talk about things. Why do they have to be killing each other?” wailed a woman. “We don’t need this. It’s time for peace. Sometimes people have to come together.”