By ADAM SCHRADER, MOLLY CRANE-NEWMAN, ROCCO PARASCANDOLA and NICOLE HENSLEY
Published in the New York Daily News on Dec. 19, 2017
Three girls were rendered fatherless early Tuesday after a gunman fatally shot their dad in the head outside a bar in Times Square.
Persues Salichs, 32, had just left a holiday party at Tonic, a popular bar on Seventh Ave. at 48th St., as the bar was closing at about 4 a.m. He was hanging out with colleagues from a Harlem Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.
Police officials said they were still investigating what led to the shooting. But a law enforcement source told the Daily News that Salichs was arguing with a woman who was outside the bar with two men. One of the men pushed him and the other shot Salichs, police sources said.
Investigators are combing through video from Times Square — an area that likely has more surveillance cameras than any other place in the city.
One of the two men was wearing a black skull cap and black jacket. He was still being sought late Tuesday.
The victim’s family was devastated.
“This is awful,” said the victim’s aunt, Marisol Salichs, 46. “He’s a father of three. His kids are 12, 5 and 3 — three daughters. He is not one to have a problem.”
The victim was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he died at 4:12 a.m.
Salichs lived on the Upper West side with his mom and an elderly uncle.
He was carrying an ID he borrowed from a friend who lives in his building when he was shot.
“(The cops) called me thinking that I was with him,” said the friend, Edwin Lopez, 27. “Everybody was just scrambling trying to find out what actually happened to him.”
Co-workers at the wings joint where Salichs worked as a cook grieved and sang his praises.
“He was a very humble guy,” one co-worker said. “I last saw him like two days ago. We’re like family here, so it hurts. This hits close to home.
“It’s a very sad thing, especially when nobody knows what happened,” he added. “It sucks to lose someone around the holidays.”
Shocked Tonic patrons dropped their belongings, including a purse, to escape the deadly chaos. A bloodied white faux fur was still on the ground hours later.
Witnesses described a woman checking for a pulse, finding Salichs barely alive before emergency workers arrived.
“I walked out into a crime scene without even realizing,” said John Keen, 65, who works nearby. “There’s like blood smeared on the other side of that newsstand. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”
A portion of Seventh Ave. was closed off to pedestrians for several hours as investigators took pictures of the crime scene.