The pal of actor Ice-T and who was gunned in Queens was on the cusp of “making it,” a friend said Saturday.
“He was just getting the fruits of his labor and someone robbed him of that,” Gilbert Cantres said of Joseph “Taheim” Bryan. “It’s the why that’s killing the whole family. He didn’t have any enemies out there, not from what I know.”
Bryan, 50, was killed Thursday night as he sat in his brand new Mercedes in Long Island City. The shooter fired about seven shots at the driver’s side of Bryan’s car, hitting him four times in the arm and torso, sources said.
He had just written and produced the movie “Equal Standard” which starred Ice-T. The “Law & Order: SVU” star tweeted about Bryan Friday night saying, “Taheim was a GOOD dude making Positive moves.”
Cantres said he had known Bryan since they were toddlers, and even moved in with the family in an Astoria housing project. He married and later divorced Bryan’s sister, but they remained close.
“That was my brother,” he said. “He was my brother-in-law, but he was more like a brother to me.”
Cantres said Bryan “took a different direction — from being unproductive to being a businessman and it still didn’t work out for him.”
“He didn’t deserve to check out like that,” he said. “This is painful. Words cannot express what went through my mind when I heard.”
Elaine Wilkins, Cantres’ fiance who had known Bryan for 20 years, called the victim “very classy.”
“He didn’t have a mean bone in his body,” she said. “He was a damn good man. It’s very unbelievable. It’s like a dream, you just didn’t wake up yet.”