Man Killed By Stray Bullet While Walking Dog After Celebrating Anniversary With Husband
A Harlem couple celebrating their anniversary went from happiness to heartbreak in a matter of seconds — the time it took for a stray bullet to kill one of the men as he walked their dog.
Winston McKay, 40, was cut down just after he and husband Terry Solomon wrapped up a joyous celebration with friends that was filled with happy memories of the day the two met nearly two decades ago.
“They tell you to remember the good times, the fact that we had 18 years," a devastated Solomon told the Daily News Tuesday.
"But I was robbed of another 18 years with the person I loved. And now I have to go to a funeral and say my final goodbye.”
McKay stepped out with their pet puggle Milton early Monday, content in the afterglow of their just-wrapped anniversary bash in Donnellan Square, the city park across the street from their home.
“See you soon,” the victim, who worked as a college librarian, told Solomon as he left.
When McKay and the pooch reached the corner of Amsterdam Ave. and W. 146th St., four blocks from home, they came upon a confrontation across the street between two men about 2:20 a.m., police say.
A shot was fired and McKay was fatally struck in the upper right leg, severing his femoral artery. Cops found him face down covered in blood and administered CPR to try to save his life.
There have been no arrests in the shocking killing.
“Everything was good on Sunday,” said longtime friend Mary Jo West, 73, who was at the party. "Food was good, people were good.”
“He’s going to be missed by a lot of people," she said of McKay. "The best man. The best couple you ever met.”
During Sunday’s bash, friends reminisced about milestones in the couple’s life, including their marriage two years ago.
Talk soon turned to hopes for the future.
“I’ll own a business and buy us a house one day,” McKay vowed to Solomon.
McKay was going to start a business management degree this fall at MiIdred Elley College in Lower Manhattan, where he was working as a librarian.
After the party ended, McKay put on headphones and took Milton for his walk. The dog was a birthday present from Solomon for McKay’s birthday two years ago,
Solomon would usually give McKay a goodnight kiss when he got back from walking the dog. But Solomon had to work the next morning and worried he’d be asleep when his husband returned and so kissed him before he left.
About half an hour after an exhausted Solomon got into bed he got a panicked phone call from a friend who lives near the crime scene saying McKay had been shot.
“I thought it was a joke at first,” Solomon said.
Solomon rushed to the scene, where he saw a pool of blood, McKay’s apartment keys on the ground, and their frantic dog tied to a pole. An ambulance with McKay in it was driving away.
After convincing skeptical cops he was the victim’s husband, police allowed him to untie Milton and walk the dog home.
Solomon said he was unaware of his husband’s fate when the detective blurted out, "You know McKay’s dead, right?”
Solomon stayed at the hospital another four hours trying to see his husband’s body but was told he couldn’t because of the criminal investigation, he said.