Police believe the soon-to-be grandfather killed by a stray bullet outside his son’s upper Manhattan deli this week was the innocent casualty of a gang-related beef, according to law enforcement sources.
Reda Girgis – who lives in Egypt and was visiting the Big Apple to see his son and pregnant daughter-in-law – was shot dead outside the ChopCheese Deli 2 in Washington Heights, around 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, according to cops and the store manager.
Girgis, 66, was struck in the head by a bullet that the drive-by shooter likely intended for a gang rival, the sources said.
The six-block area surrounding the scene, at West 162nd Street and Broadway, has an extensive history of gang violence, according to the sources.
Investigators believe that the errant round came from a dark gray SUV, possibly an Audi with New Jersey plates, the sources said.
Shocking video obtained by The Post Wednesday shows Girgis on the phone outside the deli — next to his pregnant daughter-in-law — when he tumbles to the ground.
A group of teenagers who had been hanging outside the deli are seen scrambling for safety just moments before Girgis falls to the sidewalk — with his son’s wife then frantically running into the store a split-second later.
“I heard [a] noise like firecrackers,” deli manager Gamal Abouelezz told The Post on Wednesday. “All of a sudden I saw the man land on the floor.
“The man who died is the father of the owner,” Abouelezz said. “He came from Egypt to visit him three days ago. He was visiting his son and his pregnant daughter-in-law. He was here to celebrate the baby.”
He said the victim’s son, Haney Girgis, was not in the store at the time.
“He was standing outside on the phone to his son,” Abouelezz said. “His daughter-in-law came and they talked together. She was in the store dropping off groceries. All of a sudden I saw him shot. I saw the man die on [the security camera] TV. I went outside. Everyone was panicked.”
The surveillance footage shows a crowd of bystanders gathering around the dead man’s body, with paramedics arriving minutes later, placing him on a stretcher, and performing chest compressions.
A heart-wrenching second video shot by a local resident shows a man identified by a source as Girgis’ son trying desperately to get to his father’s body on the sidewalk, only to be held back by police officers.
The victim is seen laying in a pool of blood while bystanders look on.
Police said Girgis was taken to Metropolitan Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Abouelezz said he was fortunate to escape harm himself — one of the bullets came just inches from him.
“I was standing at my notebook doing accounting when the bullet hit the counter,” he said. “I was lucky.
“It’s terrible what happened,” he added, choking back tears. “I liked him so much. .He was a family man. He loved to be with his kids. His son was getting crazy yesterday. He couldn’t believe it. It’s terrible.”
Investigators were able to find and speak with two men believed to be the intended targets of the gunfire, but they were unable to provide any information, according to the sources.
No arrests have been made.