A 25-year-old man shot to death on a Bronx street Sunday was once hailed a hero in the case of a Manhattan mom critically injured when pranksters tossed a mall shopping cart on her from a parking garage.
Achilles Baskin was 14 when he futilely tried to stop two young pals from pushing the cart over the ledge of a fourth-floor walkway at the East Harlem Plaza in 2011. Philanthropist Manhattan mom Marion Hedges was struck by the falling cart and left near death.
Over the next decade, Baskin — who reported his no-good buddies to the cops — couldn’t seem to shake the demons that followed his bravery, racking up a string of arrests in recent years before being shot dead in a possibly drug-fueled dispute Sunday afternoon.
“It’s very sad because he was my little hero,’’ Hedges told The Post on Monday.
She said Baskin — who was publicly praised for his “courage’’ by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg after the 2011 horror — “really tried to do the right thing” as a youngster.
“He really was brave,’’ she said. “I don’t know what choices he made [later], but it’s tough.
“Either he was in the wrong place at the wrong time or made the wrong choice at the wrong time” Sunday, she said. “But I wish his life had been different because who knows what he would have accomplished.
“Unfortunately, now we’ll never know what would have been his life because it was cut short.’’
Hedges was a 47-year-old real-estate broker and married mom of two when she was critically hurt while shopping for Halloween candy for the needy with her 13-year-old son.
Chilling video obtained by The Post in 2012 showed Baskin trying to frantically stop his friends, ages 12 and 13, from pushing the cart off the 70-foot-high ledge, where Hedges and her son were underneath.
Baskin told The Post at the time, “They wanted me to help them throw the cart, but I said no.
“I was trying to stop them. I was trying to put the cart near me. But they had the advantage because there were two of them against one.”
Hedges suffered severe brain damage, broken ribs and a broken collarbone in the attack. She was forced to relearn to walk and how to read, and she still walks with a cane and suffers from double vision.
“I was technically dead in the parking lot. It’s been kinda hell for me, but I’m alive,’’ she said.
The two boys who pushed off the cart — Raymond Hernandez, then 12, and Jeovanni Rosario, then 13 — ended up pleading guilty to assault.
Rosario landed six to 18 months in a juvenile facility in Westchester County, while Hernandez was sentenced to six to 16 months in a therapeutic group home.
In 2015, Hernandez was busted in a string of 14 burglaries.
Baskin told The Post in 2012 that after the attack, he was so horrified by what happened that “I went to a [store security] officer and said, ‘I know who did it.’
“He took me to a police officer.’’ the boy said.
But Baskin was soon labeled a rat in his neighborhood in East Harlem and forced to move to protect himself.
At one point, his trauma from the day led to a three-week stay at Bellevue Hospital for psychiatric evaluation.
He went on to be arrested at least 11 times, including for assault and pot dealing — and in December for attempted murder, according to police and law enforcement sources. His next court date was in April.
But Baskin, who lived in the Bronx, was shot dead Sunday around 1:26 p.m. at East 183rd Street and Bathgate Avenue in the Belmont section of the borough.
He was found barely alive and died at the hospital just before 1:45 p.m.
Police sources said they suspect Baskin was killed over drugs, based on witness statements, including one who said the shooter hissed at him, “You shouldn’t be selling here.”
The pair began to fight, and the gunman pulled out his weapon and fatally shot Baskin before fleeing, sources said.
“I just can’t believe he’s gone,’’ Baskin’s aunt, Indy Dehondy, 48, of Manhattan told The Post on Monday. “He’s 25 years old.”
She said she learned of her nephew’s slaying from his stricken mom, Shareen.
“They say he got shot in the head and the back, and the bullet went through his head,” Dehondy said. “I told my sister I’ll hold on to her.”
Hedges said that sadly, she never met Baskin because she was fighting her own battle to live.
“I wish I had gotten to know him,’’ said Hedges, who is still an active volunteer, having won an award from New York’s Junior League for her work just last week. “I don’t think he really had a shot.
“But he was definitely a hero. … He was very brave, trying to stop bad things from happening’’ in 2011.
Hedges said some of her work still involves East Harlem.
“I have a cane,’’ she added. “I’m not afraid to use it.
“Life goes on.’’
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