A beloved barber was gunned down outside a Queens eatery early Tuesday, hours after he fired off a social media post taunting his rivals.
“N—– taking shots can’t stop me,” Zanu Simpson wrote in an Instagram caption containing emojis of a gun and two bombs.
“They ain’t real enough.”
The 32-year-old Simpson was found shot in the head inside his white BMW X5 about 12:15 a.m., police said.
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The car was parked outside the Breezes Highland Bar & Grill on S. Conduit Ave. in Rosedale, where Simpson had spent the night and left without incident, sources said.
A motorist who called 911 told cops she saw a man in a charcoal gray sweatshirt leaning into the BMW’s driver side window and punching the victim.
Zanu Simpson was fatally shot in the head outside a Queens restaurant on Tuesday. (NEW YORK DAILY NEWS)
As she zoomed past, she heard a gunshot. The woman told police she doubled back and found the driver slumped in his seat with bullet wounds, cops said.
The gunman shot Simpson three times before taking off, cops said.
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Investigators found at the scene a gun believed to be the murder weapon and a live round.
Paramedics rushed the mortally-wounded Simpson to Jamaica Hospital, but doctors couldn’t save him.
Simpson, who worked with his brother at the Strickly Skillz Barbershop in Hollis, was pronounced dead just before 1 a.m., sources said.
“That was like my other half,” said the victim’s brother Samuel Simpson, 35.
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“Everybody says we looked alike. They always called us twins.”
The strapping, Jamaican-born victim, known to his friends as “Z,” was obsessed with sports as a child and graduated from Bayside High School, relatives and pals said.
Cutting hair didn’t come easily to Simpson at first. But he eventually joined his brother at the popular barbershop frequented by NBA star Kevin Durant and other celebrities.
“I taught him how to cut hair and at first he didn’t take to it but eventually he got in and came into the business with me,” Samuel Simpson said.
A handful of mourners carrying candles showed up at Strickly Skillz Tuesday morning to pay tribute to Simpson.
“He’s wonderful,” said customer Emily Laguerre, 51.
“He’ll never say no, even if you don’t have the money. He’ll say pay me next week … It’s so sad to see life taken like this.”
Simpson had racked up more than 16,000 followers on Instagram where he often posted photos of his barbershop handiwork.
“May the spineless bastard who took you have no peace for the rest of their sorry ass life,” one of his followers wrote Tuesday.