Minutes before he was shot dead Sunday night, Jerome Spence had a heartfelt chat at his Brooklyn home with his 5-year-old daughter about the dress she wanted to wear.
“Why do you like that dress?” Spence asked of his daughter, Camille, recounted his mom, Michelle Hutchinson.
“Because I feel beautiful when I put it on,” Camille replied, and Spence responded, “You’re not just beautiful when you put on the dress. You’re beautiful all the time.”
Spence then had a chat with his brother, and went outside.
He never came home.
An attacker shot the 26-year-old dad in the face, neck and chest outside an apartment building on Sterling St. near Bedford Ave. in Prospect Lefferts Gardens at about 10:20 p.m. — less than a block away from where he lives with his family, cops said.
Somehow, Spence managed to get inside the Sterling St. building, where police found him unconscious on a second-floor staircase.
Spence’s family and friends aid they can’t fathom who wanted to hurt him, and speculated Monday that the bullets were meant for someone else.
“He was a kind person. It’s kinda unreal thinking that this happened to him, when he don’t have beef, have arguments, have problems with people,” said Hutchinson, 43.
“If you go around the neighborhood, you will ask anybody,”
When Spence wasn’t working his construction job, he stayed home with his family, she said. He had plans to return to school, she said.
His daughter was staying with him for Easter.
“I cannot make sense of this… That’s what I’m asking now. Who? Why?” asked Denmoy Chushnie, 23, Spence’s brother. “He was in no gang. Nothing like that. He never liked guns, really.”
An NYPD spokesman couldn’t provide a motive for the shooting Monday night.
“I hope they find whoever did it,” Chushnie said. “They’re cowards. He didn’t have no gun. Why do you have to shoot him? If you have a problem with somebody, you have hands.”
Jeff Farrell, 41, a close family friend, said he was with Spence’s family when they got the news.
“It’s senseless. It’s so shocking,” he said. “We were inside the apartment and one of his friends came banging on the door saying he got shot.”