“A man gotta have a code” — and for Michael K. Williams, that was being a good neighbor.
“The Wire” star — who died of a suspected heroin overdose Monday at 54 — was known around his Brooklyn high-rise as friendly, down to earth and quick with a joke.
“He was an amazing person who knew everybody in the building and greeted everyone by first name,” neighbor Tommy Scheahr, 37, said Tuesday.
“He was something special.”
Residents of the luxury Williamsburg building erected a shrine in his memory, with bouquets of colorful flowers and a poster reading, “RIP to a beautiful soul.”
The East Flatbush native’s death came as a shock to neighbors, who said they’d seen him working out in the Kent Avenue building’s gym all last week. Relatives said Williams had also been excited to land an Emmy nomination this year for his work as Montrose Freeman in HBO’s “Lovecraft Country.”
His portrayal of Omar Little — the rogue robber of drug dealers on “The Wire” best known for some of the show’s most memorable lines, including, “A man gotta have a code” — earned him a mass of devoted fans.
Despite his fame, Williams didn’t bigtime his neighbors, but befriended them — and had even planned on attending the baptism for the granddaughter of his building’s concierge before his tragic death.
“He was a larger-than-life character and the most beautiful soul I had ever known,” said the concierge, Connie Agapie.
“He always had a smile on his face and had a good word to say about everyone,” the 65-year-old said.
Neighbor Lavi Rudnick, 37, agreed, remembering the acclaimed actor fondly as a “normal, genuine guy.”
“If you didn’t know he was famous, you couldn’t tell by the way he treated people,” Rudnick said. “He treated everyone who lives in the building like a friend.”
When Williams first moved into the penthouse three years ago, Scheahr said he had blurted out another of Omar Little’s famous lines.
“I said one of Omar’s lines, ‘I got the shotgun, you got the briefcase’ and Mike just smiled and said, ‘It’s all in the game though, right?’” Scheahr recalled.
“I knew Omar from the TV but I got to know Mike.”
Scheahr said the two gym enthusiasts became friends. They were messaging as recently as Saturday to organize a bike ride — and had also recently devoured the new Kanye West album “Donda” together.
According to Scheahr, Williams’ favorite track was “Believe What I Say” — which samples American singer-songwriter Lauryn Hill.
The acclaimed actor, who had talked openly about his past struggles with drugs, was found dead in the penthouse by his nephew, according to law enforcement sources.
Police have said that no foul play was suspected, but detectives were scouring Williams’ phone and computer, as well as checking security camera footage Tuesday as part of the investigation, source said.
Additional reporting by Larry Celona