Imani Armstrong: Exotic dancer EXECUTED by masked gunman on NYC street
Armstrong was heading back home from a late shift at her job at an IHOP at about 5 am when she was shot dead on a Gramercy Park sidewalk in NYC
MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY: A troubled exotic dancer was shot dead execution-style on a Gramercy Park sidewalk early Thursday, September 1, cops and witnesses confirmed. Imani Armstrong, who recently separated from her wife and lost her kids 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. A masked gunman approached her and shot her in the back of her head at East 14th Street and Irving Place.
“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.”
Cops said that the shooting was not random, but a motive has yet to be determined. “The individual was targeted,” Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said. “We have a number of suspects that we’re looking at, but nothing we want to commit to right now. But I’m very comfortable saying it was not a random attack.” The shooter and a woman, both of who were dressed in black, were seen fleeing north. However, sources claimed the woman may have been a bystander who was running from the gunfire.
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.
On the day of the murder, Armstrong, originally from Texas, stayed beyond her regular shift because the restaurant was busy. The 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.”
Armstrong danced under the name "Red". Her coworker said that a friend had recently robbed her at the club where she danced. Days earlier, Armstrong, who was allegedly fighting to get her children back, got into an altercation with her partner over their children. Sources said her partner choked her and shoved her to the ground, following which cops were called to the Queens apartment. Armstrong allegedly confided in her coworker, saying her ex had texted her last week saying, "I love you, I miss you." “I told her, ‘Don’t fall for it. Don’t reply,’” the coworker said. “I knew her kids were taken away from her because of that lady," she added.
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.
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.”