A Gambian man critically wounded when gunfire rang out on a Bronx street corner had just finished praying at a local mosque, shocked family and neighbours said Monday.

Abdul Jallow, 55, was one of two people gunned down in front of police officers in a New York neighbourhood on Saturday evening, reports the New York Daily News. 

Jallow and aspiring rapper Gabriel Casso, 21, were rushed to Lincoln Hospital. 

Casso, who was shot multiple times in the torso, was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Jallow was shot in the left shoulder and underwent emergency surgery Saturday night; he was in critical condition, officials said.

A family member said Jallow also suffered a heart attack after the shooting.

A relative described Jallow as a “peaceful man” who volunteered to keep watch of his neighborhood mosque. He slept alone upstairs at night to make sure no one broke into the building, something he considered a service to his community.

“He was coming from here. We have a prayer at that time,” Saihou Magiraga, the victim’s nephew, said at the mosque. 

“A member called me. They said a shooting happened here and they told me he got shot. I feel so bad. He was just passing down the street and this happened.”

“By the time I came, he was in the ambulance already,” Magiraga said. “I was trying to come in the ambulance but they said no. I took the taxi to the hospital. We were there until midnight.”

Magiraga, who is from the same village in Gambia as the victim, said Jallow is a neighborhood favourite.

“I’ve never seen him have a problem with anybody,” Magiraga said. “He’s always just laughing. He doesn’t fight at all. This was shocking to us.”

Magiraga said it broke his heart to see Jallow in the hospital.

“I saw him laying down,” Magiraga said. “He had all of these machines connected to him. The nurse told us he should be OK, but I’m not a doctor.”

Magiraga went back to the mosque Monday to pray and pick up where his uncle left off.

“We firstly want to pray to God to make him healthy and to get him back on his feet,” Magiraga said. “We are most worried about his life.”

Hamidou Gomaneh, 67, an employee at the Islamic Cultural Center of the Bronx where Jallow had prayed, said he last saw the victim in what may have been the last moments before he was shot.

“It’s very sad,” Gomaneh said. “He would come in everyday.”

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