Daily News, June 20, 2011, "Deadly Dad's Day Takes the Life of 2nd Young Father"


A Queens man was killed in a hail of bullets in Brooklyn yesterday — the second young dad slain over a Father’sDay weekend marked by a shocking surge of gun violence.

Anthony McRae, 22, the hardworking father of a 2-year-old son, was shot six times early yesterday in front of a Rockaway Ave. deli during a tragic visit to the Brownsville neighborhood of his youth.

“It’s Father’s Day! I don’t understand! It’s Father’s Day,” McRae’s grandmother wailed afterward as tears streamed down her face.

It was one of at least a dozen incidents of gun violence gripping the city yesterday. Overall, there were no fewer than 19 shootings citywide over the weekend — including at least eight in Brooklyn.

The grim final tally: three killed, 28 wounded. Eight people were shot in gang-related gunplay at an East New York house party early Saturday. Donzell Rogers, 21 — the father, like McRae, of a 2-year-old son—died in the fusillade.

No one has been arrested in that shooting —which foreshadowed a bloodbath at a Prospect- Lefferts Gardens house party about 12:30 a.m. yesterday during which five people were wounded by gunfire.

As police investigated the chaos on Fenimore St., a man asked a police lieutenant if he could move his car from a block that had been cordoned off.

“Brooklyn emergency rooms are filled with gunshot victims right now,” the lieutenant replied. “It’s going to be a while.”

McRae, of Far Rockaway, was shot five times in the back and once in the leg about 4:45 a.m., police said. There were no arrests, and police did not reveal a motive yesterday.

As his body lay on the Brownsville sidewalk, covered by a white sheet, his mother wept nearby for her only child. “She’s not holding up,” McRae’s grandmother said.

She said he worked two jobs to support his son, Carter. “He was hardworking,” she said, refusing to provide her name. “He worked to take care of his son.”

Witnesses said that two men opened fire at the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens house party about 12:15 a.m. after being refused entry. The gunmen fled on foot and appear to have gotten into another battle up the block, near Rutland Road.

“We heard a barrage of gunshots,” said a woman who saw one gunman sprint past her. “It sounded like Judgment Day.”

At an outdoor barbecue in Brownsville late Saturday night, Jerry Armstrong, 45, was shot four times, including one round to the face.

He staggered away from the scene on East New York Ave. and made it to his home nearby, but he later died at KingsCounty Hospital, police said.

McRae’s grandmother said the weekend spate of firearm-borne madness shows the time has come for a reckoning within the community.

“I hope this is a message for all the parents, all the grandmothers, all the aunts, all the uncles,” she railed. “I hope they see this and say, ‘Wait a minute — We need to do something about this now! Now!’”

With Sarah Darville