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Man shot dead on Brooklyn street was loving immigrant father of 15, wife and friends say (EXCLUSIVE)

Anthony Lancaster
Courtesy of family
Bodega owner and father of 15 Anthony Lancaster was shot to death in Brooklyn Saturday night. (Courtesy of family)
Rebecca White
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

A man gunned down in the dead of night on a Brooklyn street was an immigrant father of 15 — including newborn twin girls — who put his family before everything, his friends and heartbroken wife told the Daily News.

Police responding to a 911 call found the body of 40-year-old Anthony Lancaster with two bullets in his back and one in his head near Clarkson Ave. and E. 53rd St. in at around 2:15 a.m. Saturday, according to police.

“He was an amazing father to his kids and an amazing husband,” his wife Annesha Lancaster, 34, told the Daily News. “That’s who he was … I’m broken.”

40yr old Anthony Lancaster was pronounced dead on scene after he was shot once in the head and twice in the back whilst inside a makeshift restaurant at 126 East 53rd Street in Brooklyn on Saturday April 20, 2024. 1133. (Theodore Parisienne for ϲʿֱ)
Anthony Lancaster died at the scene after he was shot once in the head and twice in the back near Clarkson Ave. and E. 53rd St. in Brooklyn on Saturday. (Theodore Parisienne for ϲʿֱ)

Lancaster told his wife he was going to check on the bodega he owned —  located on Clarkson Ave. kitty-corner to where his body was found —  shortly before 1 a.m. that night, according to the grieving widow, who shared her husband’s last words with The News.

“He was in good spirits,” said the grieving widow. “He said, ‘I’ll see you just now.'”

The victim had remote access to the security feed at his store and kept a close eye on his business even from afar, according to a longtime family friend, who said it wasn’t unusual for the shopkeeper to make late-night visits to check on his workers.

“He always comes in to check to make sure everything is all right,” said Leoneshia Vidal, 32, who’d known the victim since she was 12 years old. “He comes in to check if [his workers] need anything, something to eat from McDonald’s, he would drive and get it for them.”

People were playing cards and dominoes at the murder scene, according to cop sources.

Annesha Lancaster’s expectation that her husband would return turned to shock and despair when a friend called later that morning to inform her of his slaying.

“I didn’t believe it,” she said. “He said, ‘I’m so sorry. They just killed him.'”

Anthony Lancaster immigrated to the United States from more than two decades ago and used his success in America to help those around him, his wife said.

40yr old Anthony Lancaster was pronounced dead on scene after he was shot once in the head and twice in the back whilst inside a makeshift restaurant at 126 East 53rd Street in Brooklyn on Saturday April 20, 2024. 1133. (Theodore Parisienne for ϲʿֱ)
Cops responding to a report of shots fired found victim Anthony Lancaster sprawled on the ground in East Flatbush. (Theodore Parisienne for ϲʿֱ)

Anthony Lancaster had a lengthy criminal record of 36 arrests, including for forgery in February and three busts for gun possession, cop sources said. His first arrest was in 2007 for selling pot, they added.

Still, the man had a neighborhood reputation for helpfulness.

“He was a person that helped everybody. Everyone he came in contact with, he helped them,” Annesha Lancaster said. “He gave them everything he had.”

Vidal said that her slain friend wouldn’t hesitate to offer his home as a shelter to those in need, one time sleeping in his car to make room for displaced friends short on rent.

“He went as far as putting people up in his home and sleeping out in his car,” said Vidal. “In this neighborhood, he’s known for his kindness. He was loving. He was caring.”

Vidal said her friend’s killer took the life of a good man and that she grieves for his 15 children, including twin girls born just a few months ago.

“They always say the good die young, and he was still young. He just turned 40 last year,” said Vidal. “People can’t believe he had 15 kids, but he took care of all his kids.

“The man was a loving, kindhearted, real friend,” she added. “You can’t get another one of him.”

Anthony Lancaster was close with his parents and his grandmother, Annesha Lancaster said.

“The family is not taking it well,” she explained. “His grandma is his everything, and they are taking it extremely hard.”

Annesha Lancaster described her husband as spiritual and said that he experienced a period of unusual calm in the days preceding his murder.

40yr old Anthony Lancaster was pronounced dead on scene after he was shot once in the head and twice in the back whilst inside a makeshift restaurant at 126 East 53rd Street in Brooklyn on Saturday April 20, 2024. 1133. (Theodore Parisienne for ϲʿֱ)
Anthony Lancaster’s family was left reeling from the slaying (Theodore Parisienne for ϲʿֱ)

“He believed in vibes, energy,” the widow said. “He was just very peaceful all week like he knew something was … I don’t know. He just was just peaceful all week.”

No arrests have been made in the case.

“On getting justice, I think God is in charge,” Annesha Lancaster said.

With Rocco Parascandola

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