A 45-year-old grandfather was shot and killed on Sunday night after he tried to break up a dispute over loud music on a Brooklyn subway train. According to the New York Post, a suspect opened fire on Richard Henderson after the victim attempted to de-escalate the dispute between his killer and another man.
Henderson was struck twice and succumbed to his injuries before police responded to the scene. The deceased victim’s wife, Jakeba Dockery, described him as a “good man” and said he “didn’t deserve it. Not that.”
Henderson’s brother, Jermaine Henderson, also said he “died helping someone.” “That’s him! He always intervened, he always wanted peace.”
“That’s just what he did his whole life: Help people,” he added. “We’re baffled. “He was on his way home to his family.”
The deceased victim was said to be returning home after he went to a friend’s house to watch a football game. He was also riding on the train with a friend he watched the game with.
“We weren’t doing nothing to that man,” Henderson’s friend, Anthony Williams, told the news outlet. “We didn’t say nothing.”
“The [shooter] got on the train with loudspeakers playing music,” he added. “He shot Richie. He tried to shoot me in the head, but I ducked and he went out through the two swinging doors on Rockaway Parkway. I just let him go, because he almost caught me in the head.”
Williams also said his friend “lost a lot of blood” after he was shot. “He just wanted to make sure people were OK around him, that there was no commotion, no beef, no problems,” Henderson’s son, Richard Jr., told the New York Post.
Richard Jr. also described his father as a “peaceful man” and said there was “never any beef between him and anybody, he got killed because he was trying to make [peace].” “Everyone here is numb,” he added. “We’re still just trying to come to believe that this is real.”
Authorities are yet to make any arrests. Henderson’s place of work at the time of his killing, Avenues The World School, as well as his friends have since set up a GoFundMe to help raise funds for his family. Over $237,000 has so far been raised.
“Richard Henderson, was not only a guardian at the crosswalks of the school where he tirelessly worked; Rich was a guardian to all those lucky enough to know him,” the fundraiser states. “A devoted father of three and doting grandfather of two young girls, Richard’s life was tragically cut short at the age of 45, a victim of senseless violence on a Brooklyn subway train. His act of bravery, intervening in a dispute to safeguard peace, reflects the essence of his being – a man who lived to help others.”
The fundraiser adds: “Richard’s life was a mosaic of selflessness and dedication. For over a decade, he served as a crossing guard, shepherding young lives safely, a role that mirrored his innate desire to protect and care for those around him. Rich was a peaceful man, who never had a quarrel with the world but lost his life trying to quell one. This profound loss has left his family, friends, and community in a state of shock and grief.”