Murder of Bronx man killed taking out trash remains a mystery


In the days since her brother was killed last week in the hallway of the Bronx building where she lives, Christina Singleton and her family have come up with their own security system.

A family member stands behind the apartment door as the person who is going out waits by the elevator. Once inside, the person who is leaving calls out from the elevator to say they made it safely.

As home security goes, it’s crude. Singleton only wishes she’d come up with it before her brother died.

Aris Wimbush wasn’t even going anywhere.

Cops said he was shot and killed Aug. 24 on the 19th floor of the Morrisania Air Rights NYCHA Development in Concourse Village as he stepped out of the family home to take out the trash.

Neighbors heard gunshots, but no one saw the attack, according to police. When cops arrived, the gunman was long gone. They found Wimbush, 38, shot in the chest, with a bag of garbage lying on the floor next to him.

“I just feel like there’s no type of security,” said Singleton, 25. “There have been shootings in the building before. You can’t feel safe in your own neighborhood. There’s too much going on.”

Singleton and her mother, Kathy Ross, said Wimbush noticed the garbage can was overflowing, and stepped out of the apartment at 9:30 p.m. to take the trash to the garbage chute.

He said, ‘I love you. I’ll be right back,’” Singleton said, repeating her brother’s last words to them. “Next thing you know, he’s not back.”

A short time later, chaos erupted.

“I hear gunshots,” Ross said.

“Pop,” said Singleton. “And then, ‘Pop, pop.”

One bullet went straight to his heart, and another to his side, the family said. Singleton and another brother ran into the hallway, while their mother screamed to ‘call 911.’

The brother called for help, and Singleton reached Wimbush first.

“I’m scared to go outside,” Singleton said. “When it comes to this neighborhood, no one cares. These last couple of years it’s not safe with all these people shooting. Who’s to know that it won’t happen to you?”

Singleton said her brother’s phone was missing, but his favorite necklace with a large, gold crucifix, was untouched.

“Why take a life for something that’s not close to valuable,” she asked. “Why take someone’s life for nothing?”

“All his friends, they’re baffled,” said Wimbush’s heartbroken mother.

The family has no idea who killed him.

“Never heard him getting into fights or arguments. He used to say hi to everyone in the community,” Singleton said. “It’s terrifying because you don’t know who did it. I’m afraid I’ll never know.”

Cops said they did not know if Wimbush’s checkered past had anything to do with his death.

Authorities said Wimbush had a minor criminal record, mostly for drug possession, dating back to 1999.

Relatives said he spent four years in jail after an arrest at age 16.

“He wanted to follow the wrong people, to take another path in life,” Ross said. ”Just for the excitement.”

She said her son spent the next 14 years in and out of prison. While serving time, he earned his GED. For the last six years, he lived with his mother and siblings in the building where he was killed.

Ross said Wimbush was picked up for a parole violation during the pandemic and was briefly locked away. He had two outstanding cases at the time of his death, she said.

“Once he became a certain age after doing 14 years, you can’t change that person because he’s grown,” his mother said.

She said the family didn’t visit him when he was in jail.

“I wanted him to learn structure,” Ross recalled. “I wanted him to learn from this behavior.”

She acknowledged that Wimbush made his share of bad decisions, but things began to turn around for him about six years ago, when he got a job at UPS sorting boxes.

“He talked so much about changing, like, ‘I want better for my life,’” Singleton said.

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“We would sit in the park and talk. He was a nice, loving brother. We talked about me going back to school. He said, ‘I wanna see you do things.’”

Ross said music was an outlet for her son.

“He loved rapping, he loved music. He wrote songs, made music videos,” she said. “He tried to start a recording company company with his little brother and friends called ‘Get Right Productions.’”

The notes app on one of his phones was filled with half-written song lyrics. His search history showed that he had been looking for rap beats. Singleton reminisced about her brother breakdancing to a Nicki Minaj song a few days before his death.

“He was so loved,” Ross said. ”Everybody loved him for his smile from the day that he was born. Some of the people that we lived around used to call him ‘Smiley.’”

No one’s smiling now.

“It’s scary,” Singleton said. “I can’t stand to look in my hallway without breaking down. I just see my brother.”



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