May 8, 2017, 11:43 AM
A Harlem man was hauled into custody yesterday in connection with the heartless murder of a Bronx gas-station attendant, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
Lamin Sillah, 28, was shot to death at RC Petroleum on Sept. 4 by a bike-riding thug who opened fire when the Gambian immigrant grabbed for the gun.
The 21-year-old suspect, identified as Freddie McGrier, was taken into custody when he met with his parole officer yesterday, law-enforcement sources said.
McGrier was arrested early this morning and charged with murder, criminal possession of a weapon and robbery, police said.
He is on parole for robbery and has five robbery arrests on his rap sheet, sources said.
“I want the killer to be punished. It’s good the police caught the killer,” Sillah’s wife, Mariama Dampha, told The Post in a phone interview from Gambia last night.
“That is really good news for me. The best thing is justice to be done.”
But, the grieving widow said, no punishment will ever fill the hole left in her heart.
“Even if justice is done, at the end of the day, I lost a very loving husband,” Dampha said.
“Arresting the killer means nothing to me. I lost my husband under very stupid circumstances. Yes, there is justice to be done to the killer - life in jail for him.”
Hardworking Sillah moved to New York late last year.
He toiled on late-night shifts in low-paying gigs so he could send money to his wife, parents and two siblings in Gambia.
By day, he attended school studying for an accounting degree. He had worked as an accountant in his homeland.
Dampha said she was studying in Gambia to be a nurse, using the money that Sillah was sending home.
Sillah’s body was flown to his native country, where he was buried in his home village Tuesday.
“I cannot afford to come to the trial for the killer,” Dampha said. “I am having financial difficulties and emotionally coping.
“I think about the time we spent together. He was caring, loving, even though we just married eight months ago.
“It was so sudden. He left after eight months of marriage — he had just got his green card.
“He was processing papers for me to go to New York City and live with him.”
The man in custody is believed to be the shooter, while his accomplice is still wanted.
They robbed an attendant at the pumps of the East Tremont station of $30, and then the shooter went into the office, surveillance images show. Sillah instinctively grabbed for the gun and the robber blasted him three times.
The senseless slaughter sparked outrage and sympathy across New York’s immigrant community, as new Americans identified with the victim’s struggles.
Hundreds of mourners, who didn’t even know Sillah, showed up at his memorial at the First Avenue Funeral Home in East Harlem last weekend.
New York Post