His life was nearly snipped short.
A Bronx barber known for his taste in fancy jewelry was shot and robbed in the middle of giving a haircut, police and coworkers said Monday.
Brito Okalis, 40, was attacked by two men posing as customers around 9 p.m. — and they took a $15,000 gold chain he’d just purchased for his birthday, co-worker Leonel Bonilla, 26, told The Post.
Bonilla said one of the men, who’d been sitting on a chair posing as a waiting customer, approached Okalis and tried to strong-arm him from behind. Bonilla said Okalis thought it was a prank and tried to push the man away, who then began to fight Okalis. He pulled out his gun and tried to shoot Okalis, but his gun jammed.
“He pulled the gun. The gun got stuck. He was telling the other guy, ‘Shoot him! Shoot him!’ because [Okalis] was trying to defend himself,” Bonilla recounted.
The man standing by the door then fired four times, hitting him three times in the arm and the stomach and his partner in crime once in the leg.
“He was saying, ‘You shot me! Stop! You shot me!” Bonilla said.
Customers to the right of Okalis’s chair ran towards the back of the long, narrow shop.
“They all run to the bathroom… there was, like, two young people, they tried to hide behind the chair. The rest was in the corner,” Bonilla recounted. He said others were blocked from actually exiting the store.
“It was quick. It was terrifying. Brito says [he’s] scared they come back.”
Even with three bullets in him, Bonilla said Okalis continued to try to fight the suspect who shot him, even chasing him and his partner out of the store.
“He’s a strong man, but he was in shock. There was a lot of blood,” Bonilla said, adding that Okalis began to stumble on the sidewalk while trying to chase the suspects out.
“He says, ‘I was shot!’ I told him, ‘Stand up! The ambulance is coming.’”
Bonilla went to visit Okalis at St. Barnabas Hospital over the weekend.
“He’s doing good… he’s recovering. He feel frustrated, through. He says he’s not going to wear his jewelry anymore.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).
Credit: NY Post