Three men executed in a car near Columbia University may have been targeted by a professional hit man after ripping off rival drug dealers, police said.
The victims of Thursday’s BMW bloodbath had long rap sheets, and one of them was busted last year with $300,000 worth of pot and two handguns.
Cops released a photo Friday of the suspected killer who used a revolver and six bullets to kill three people in seconds — then ditched a bloodied shirt in the trash and put on a clean one.
“It would appear that a lone gunman shot and killed these three young men in quick succession and then calmly walked away from the crime scene,” NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.
Clutching a white bag, he walked up W. 122nd St. to Broadway, headed north and then made his wardrobe change.
His victims were identified as parolee Amaury Rodriguez, 30, Heriberto Suazo, 26, of Washington Heights, and Luis Catalan, 25, of the upper East Side.
Rodriguez, the driver and owner of the $88,000 car, was shot three times. Suazo, in the front seat was shot once in the head. The killer, sitting behind Rodriguez, shot Catalan in the left temple and the arm.
No one on leafy Claremont Ave. witnessed the shooting, though one person heard shots.
A man walking by an hour later spotted the victims, their T-shirts soaked with blood. No guns or drugs were found.
Suazo, known by the nickname 50, was arrested in September in Yonkers with 12 pounds of hydroponic marijuana in a Mercedes and in his apartment, along with a loaded .25-caliber gun and a loaded .380 semiautomatic weapon. His seven arrests also include robbery and assault raps.
“We have information . . . that he was involved in marijuana dealing and the ripoffs of other dealers,” Browne said.
Catalan had 10 arrests on his record, eight sealed. One was for marijuana possession, another for driving without a license.
He was an aspiring rapper who posted profanity-laced videos on YouTube under the name Lou Banga. Relatives said he was a lapsed Mormon and the father of a 1-year-old boy.
“I don’t have the slightest clue what he was doing there,” said an uncle, Jose Castellar, 54. “He was very straight up.”
Catalan and Suazo never did hard time, but Rodriguez spent more than two years in state prison on a weapons rap and was released in January 2011.
Known on the street as Ace or Idi Amin, he racked up 25 arrests and was on parole until 2015.
Relatives said he celebrated his 2-year-old son’s birthday a day before he was murdered.
“He was the best husband and the best father ever,” said a woman who said she was his wife.