As a popular hip-hop disc jockey struggled to survive gunshot wounds, his fans poured out their anguish and prayers on the air and online.
Carl Blaze, born Carlos Rivera, was in critical condition early Friday at Harlem Hospital Center, according to the hospital. Police said he had been shot at least 13 times outside an apartment building near the Inwood section of Manhattan, and his jewelry had been snatched.
Blaze, 30, counts more than 2 million listeners on Power 105.1 FM, according to the station's Web site. He broadcasts on Fridays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and on Saturdays from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. and midnight to 2 a.m.
After building a fan base by spinning records at local clubs, he joined the hip-hop and R&B station almost three years ago, according to the site. The station is owned by radio giant Clear Channel Communications.
Power 105.1 announced the shooting over the air, and "listeners have been calling in with their love and support and prayers," said spokeswoman Josefa Paganuzzi.
Others posted get-well wishes and prayers on Blaze's Myspace.com site.
"Everybody's pulling for him," said his friend and booking agent Rich Dominguez. "He's a really nice guy _ that's why everybody's pretty surprised to find out that he's even in a situation like this.
"(He is) definitely a caring type of dude, real down the earth. As far as his career's gotten him, he's never let it get to his head," Dominguez said.
Police said Blaze had been wearing a white metal diamond chain with the initials "CB" when he was shot at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday. The chain was missing when police arrived, investigators said. Police were searching for suspects.
Building resident Elizabeth Figueroa said she was at home when she heard gunshots and pressed her intercom button to find out what was happening in the lobby area.
"We said, 'What's going on?"' she recalled, "and he said, 'I've been shot. I've been shot. Help me, please help me!"'
Figueroa and other residents ran down to help and found Blaze slumped at the foot of a staircase and bleeding profusely, reports AP.
"He just said, 'I'm hurt, I'm hurt, I'm gonna die, I'm gonna die,"' said Figueroa.
Vincent Espinosa said he tried to look at Blaze's wounds before paramedics arrived.
"So I pulled up his shirt to check the wounds because he was bleeding a lot, profusely," Espinosa said, "and he had like 15, 16 shots."