‘It’s a sad day in Harlem’: Friends, family mourn victim in Upper Manhattan shooting

Stephen Turner, 27 (Brittany Kriegstein/New York Daily News)

A young dad killed in Upper Manhattan may have been trying to cool down a fight between two other men when he was fatally shot, his distraught family believes.

Stephen Turner, 27, and a friend, also 27, were shot on 10th Ave. and W. 211th St. in Inwood just before 2 a.m. Friday. Turner was fatally shot in the chest; the other man was shot in the hand.

“He was diffusing a situation and he was caught in the crossfire,” said a family friend, who spoke to the Daily News in a phone interview after Turner’s grieving mother became too overcome to speak.

“He doesn’t like confrontation. He’s a sweetheart,” the family friend said. “He was a good guy, a good father, a good cousin, a good friend. He didn’t have any problems.”

Outside his Harlem home, friends erected a memorial of candles, photos, champagne bottles, basketball items and lettered balloons spelling out “Steph” — his nickname.

“It’s a sad day in Harlem,” said Emanuel Williams, 51, who knew Turner from his block on Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.

“He was amazing. I knew him all his life, since he was born,” Williams said. “You always see him with his son, he was a great father. They spent a lot of time [together]. Everything. Park, riding bikes, playing basketball. He was a good dad.”

Turner volunteered to help with the Dyckman Basketball program and with the Children’s Aid Society, the family friend said.

Kareem Rutledge, 24, sits at the memorial for friend Stephen Turner, 27. (Brittany Kriegstein/New York Daily News)

Kareem Rutledge, 24, who sat solemnly near the memorial, said he’s known Turner since they were children.

“Full of love. That’s all I can really say. He always showed a lot of love and respect to everyone. It’s tragic what happened,” Rutledge said. “He was too much of a good person to really be involved in anything. It’s weird that this happened.”

Turner also had a passion for dirt bikes, and rode them since he was 12. He would meet up with a crew of about 20 bikers in Harlem every Sunday to ride and do tricks throughout the city, said Free Waters, 40.

On Sunday, fellow dirt bike riders drove by all afternoon, popping wheelies in tribute to him.

“He’s a real good kid from the neighborhood. I watched him grow up,” Waters said. “He’s just different, unique. He was a fly guy

Police have made no arrests

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