Clarkson Wilson: Man who fathered exotic dancer Imani Armstrong's child arrested for her murder

Clarkson Wilson has over 20 arrests on his rap sheet and has also been charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon

Clarkson Wilson: Man who fathered exotic dancer Imani Armstrong's child arrested for her murder
Clarkson Wilson (R) shot Imani Armstrong (L) dead execution-style (mami_chula1209/Instagram and New York Post screenshot)
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MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A Brooklyn man has been arrested for killing exotic dancer Imani Armstrong and charged with murder. Clarkson Wilson, 44, who fathered at least one of Armstrong's children, lay in wait for the mom before shooting her dead execution-style in Gramercy Park on Thursday, September 1. Wilson has over 20 arrests on his rap sheet and has also been charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon. The motive of the murder remains unclear.

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Armstrong, who recently separated from her wife and lost her children to foster care, was heading back home from a late shift at her job at an IHOP at about 5 am when the shooting took place. Wilson approached her and shot her in the back of her head at East 14th Street and Irving Place. 

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“When I heard the shot, I was like, ‘Oh s**t.’ It was like one loud bang . . . I heard one shot and then silence,” said Maximillian Stebelsky, 18, a neuroscience major who lives in a nearby NYU dorm, according to New York Post. “I never predicted something like this to happen, especially across the street from where I live.”

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Armstrong had reportedly just been served divorce papers by her wife. About a month back, she moved out of the apartment the two of them shared. Coworkers claimed her children have been in foster care on Staten Island, and that Armstrong had been attending anger management classes. Before her murder, however, she did not seem “like anything was on her mind," a coworker said. 

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Wilson has at least four previous complaints against him for alleged domestic violence starting from 2014, but it is unclear if any of these complaints were made by Armstrong. A woman accused him of choking her during an argument, New York Post quoted sources as saying. Back in September 2014, Wilson’s then-wife accused him of taking her phone, choking her, and pushing her into a wall. Wilson was living with her and her mother at the time.

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After Armstrong's murder, the Regional Recovery Task Force in Brooklyn took Wilson into custody and hauled him into the 13th Precinct station house on East 21st Street for questioning. As of Saturday afternoon, September 3, his arraignment was pending.

On the day of the murder, Armstrong, who danced under the name "Red" and was originally from Texas, stayed beyond her regular shift because the restaurant was busy. Her coworker said Armstrong went toward 14th Street to take the train as usual. This was her everyday routine when she left for the day. The IHOP employee said Armstrong had been trying to better herself. “She was good. She worked well,” the coworker said. “She got along with everybody. She knew a lot of people around here.”

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(mami_chula1209/Instagram)
On the day of the murder, Imani Armstrong, stayed beyond her regular shift because the restaurant was busy (mami_chula1209/Instagram)

Manny, a 56-year-old man who was working at his nearby coffee cart at the time of the shooting, recalled the incident. “I was here cooking when I heard a loud boom,” Manny said. “I said, ‘Oh s–t, what was that?’ I thought it was a car or truck [that] crashed. I ran outside and I saw the lady on the sidewalk.” Manny then saw her body on the sidewalk. “Oh my God. I wondered if she had kids, what about her family," he said.

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He recalled there were other people around who called 911. “It’s a shame,” Manny said. “You have these people killing one another. They kill somebody and the system lets them back out. They are right back on the streets and they do the same s–t again. It’s crazy.” “The president, the politicians, they are not doing anything about it. All they think about is getting voted back in,” he added. “You got some sick, screwed-up people out here.”

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