ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — On Monday, community members gathered to honor and remember a local barber killed Saturday afternoon after a gunman opened fire into Village Barber and Beauty on 221 Second Ave. in Albany. Rev. Reginald Graham is the Owner and Operator of the shop, and he said there were about 10 people in the shop.
“We had customers …barbers all on duty. There were four of us working and cutting hair, having a normal day. And all of a sudden, we heard shots,” he said.
That’s when everyone went on the ground and tried to leave the barbershop.
“And we literally had to crawl to the back of the barber shop-we were trying to get out of there. Because the shots just wouldn’t stop coming,” Rev. Graham said.
Three people were shot, including a child…but 47-year-old Tyrone Staley did not make it. Rev. Graham said they were waiting for the ambulance, but there was nothing more anyone could do…
“So we watched our barber die..we watched a good man die,” he said. “This man was here every day, faithfully cutting hair. That’s all he did; he was a family man.”
Carolyn Temple has been getting her haircut along with her 11- year-old grandson for seven years and has had great memories with Staley. But now she worries about a place she always saw as a safe haven.
“It’s sad because I really have to think now. I have a young black male grandson,” she said. “And I don’t want him to be exposed like these other little kids that were in there.”
Her grandson Jaden Myrick is also worried but will always remember the good times he spent with Staley at the shop.
“We’d laugh and crack jokes; we would come here for like a day… Next thing you know, we heard about this. Now we can’t do anything, really,” he said.
No arrests have been made, but community members like Eric Thompson hope the violence stops by providing more programs for youth.
“Community members getting involved, getting engaged, giving these young people an opportunity to recognize that they have greatness within him,” he said. “And that a bullet won’t only ruin the life that they’re shooting, but it can ruin their life as well.”
Residents are urged to connect with community resources, especially as police look to increase patrols in the area. But Rev. Graham says that his friend’s life will not be in vain-
“There were bullet holes everywhere in that barber shop, so God left us here for a reason. And that’s what we’re going to do,” he said. “We’re going to stay here and just be a light that shines in a dark place.”