2006-03-31 / Front Page

Family Mourns Gunman Shot By Police

By Brian Magoolaghan

Authorities say Rasheem Parrish, the young man shot this week by police, led the life of a street thug, but he was also a Golden Gloves boxing competitor and a good grandson, people who knew him told The Wave this week.

"He was going to be my champion," his grandmother, Clarice Flake, told The Wave. "He had a lot of interest in boxing."

Parrish, 20, trained at the Irish Ropes boxing gym in Arverne. His name had appeared in the sports pages of The Wave, and he was recently interviewed by Wave editorial cartoonist and filmmaker Robert Sarnoff for a documentary on the Irish Ropes and its founder.

"He was pretty willing to talk about fighting and he was pretty approachable," recalled Sarnoff, who said Parrish was eager, like the other boxers, for victory in the ring. But something happened, and Parrish never competed at the Gloves.

"He's the only one who didn't show up for his fight," said Sarnoff, "but nobody said anything."

Flake said her grandson was looking for a job, and never too busy to see her. "He always visited me. I'm his grandmother," she said, "he visits me every day." Flake declined to comment on his alleged criminal activity and the circumstances surrounding his death. "I don't have any comment about that because I really don't know," she said.

The N.A.A.C.P., in a flyer circulated this week, described Parrish as a young man who died as he was "getting his life together."

Parrish's family will hold a candlelight vigil on the corner where he was shot - Beach 22 Street and Mott Avenue - on Friday, March 31, at 6 p.m. Pastor Derrick W. Webb of New Life Ministries will lead the prayer service.

A memorial service will be held at Jeremiah C. Gaffney's Funeral Home, 92 Wahl Avenue, Inwood, on Sunday, April 2 at 5 p.m.

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