Never myself but I knew a fellow whom was killed in NYC after being mugged for $5. His name was Burke O'Brien and was a leader at a Canoeing camp that I used to attend every summer for 7 weeks. He was a nice guy whom always took the group of Harlem kids out for 4 weeks to "find themselves". Having met him a number of times and spending a week with him, he was a great impact on me through his crazy stories and great character. He set this example for other kids/adults and was a very successful guy for a man of his age. At 25 he had traveled the world, taught English to frown children, and had attended/led at the camp for close to 15 years.
He was in NYC for a job interview at a rather large company and would have most likely gotten the job. Him and a friend had gone out on Jan. 12, 2003 and had plans to return to his sister's apartment where they were they would meet up with her. Prior to arriving at her apartment they stopped at a bank to pick up $20 for the cab ride which came out to something like $14-$15. With $5 left they exited the cab and headed up the stairs to his sister's apartment. On the upper step of the doorway they were approached by 2 men who demanded what money they had. His friend had only $5 which he gave up without a fight.
If you had met Burke you would have been intimidated b/c he was a tall burley guy who didn't take crap from people and stood up for others. He contested to giving up the money at which time a gun was drawn. He stepped forward to move the gun at which time the gunman took a single step forward and at a vertical angle shot Burke in the heart, a shot that would take this 25 year-old's life.
Those he had impacted and those who looked upon this man were impacted greatly. Even those who hadn't met him were touched by him. He will be strongly missed forever and his memories will always be with me.
**Teeth To The Wind** was his motto.
You will be strongly missed but even more, you will always be remembered.
On an even sadder note, his father whom was extremely close with his son had a VERY hard time dealing with this death. Needing to have some type of closure, he headed up to the camp for the summer in July of 04'. Having finally let go of this saddddddddd death he headed back home for a drive that was to take 9hours. For some unknown reason he skidded off of the road and was ejected from his car. It was said that he survived the ejection but was killed when another driver, who didn't see him, struck Mr. O'Brien, fatally killing him. Another blow to a great family after only having to let go of a great son, friend, and brother.
Sorry to all for dragging on, this death always gets to me.
A site in memory of this great man can be seen here;