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A masked gunman was eventually nabbed by the New York City Police Department after a 25-year-old woman was found shot in the head on a sidewalk last week not far from the New York University campus laid in wait for hours for his ex-girlfriend, prosecutors revealed.
Clarkson Wilson, 44, allegedly lurked outside an IHOP chain restaurant on E. 14th St. where his exotic dancer ex-girlfriend worked a second job for hours, waiting and pacing until Imani Armstrong stepped outside before 5 a.m. on Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Samantha Levitz said at Wilson’s arraignment.
Video allegedly showed that Wilson then pulled on a sweatshirt and mask and followed Armstrong, running up behind her near the corner E. 14th St. and Irving Place in Manhattan’s East Village and shooting her once in the back of the head, Levitz said.
Surveillance footage showed Wilson fled the scene and ran into a nearby subway station and change clothes before riding home to Brooklyn.
Judge Abraham Clott ordered Wilson held without bail on Sunday.
Levitz said police found the clothes Wilson was wearing during the shooting in a garbage bag, as well as two guns stored in a safe while executing a warrant at his home.
Wilson is purportedly the father of at least one of Armstrong’s three children, the New York Post reported. He has a violent criminal history, with eight prior arrests, the most recent of which is a 2021 strangulation case in which Armstrong was not the victim, sources told the Daily News.
In 2014, Wilson’s wife at the time told police that he took her phone, choked her and pushed her into a wall during an argument, sources told the Post. Records show he was convicted of attempted robbery in 2000 and served three years before he was granted parole, which ended in 2008.
Prosecutors said Wilson was a flight risk with access to money, arguing that he has admitted to selling marijuana and posted on social media with large amounts of weed and cash.