Church worker shot in head by suspect driving by on motorcycle in Harlem

Thursday, October 29, 2015
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Jim Dolan reports from Harlem.

HARLEM -- A father in Harlem, a maintenance worker at a local church, came within an inch of death. He was shot in the head as someone driving by opened fire.

It happened at 118th and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, and police are still searching for the suspect.

Raphael Benjamin works at the Canaan Baptist Church in Harlem and lives nearby with his 14-year-old son. Tuesday, he thought all of that might be over.

"I got two holes in my head. It went in one end and out the other way," Benjamin said.

Benjamin spoke to Eyewitness News by phone from his bed at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital. He was shot in the head Tuesday, right outside his home on W. 118th Street.

"I heard a motorcycle, I look, I saw the guy standing down the block pointing this way, pointing down the block with a gun, I started running and I got shot in the head," Benjamin said.

"Everybody loves him. He works very hard," said Rev. Thomas Johnson, of Canaan Baptist Church.

Rev. Johnson said Benjamin is a dedicated father who still has so much work to do in his life.

"The police officer who was with him shared with him, two more inches, you would be in the morgue in the ER, so he was very emotional about that, he talked about his son and who would take care of his son," Rev. Johnson said.

Benjamin says he has no idea why the young man down the block was shooting.

"This happened so fast that I don't know who they were shooting at or why, but I know it wasn't me," Benjamin said.