A beloved 21-year-old man with special needs known as a “gentle giant” was gunned down in Philadelphia over a $300 pair of “Beats by Dr. Dre” headphones on Saturday afternoon.
Police have yet to make an arrest, according to Philly.com.
Christian Massey was walking down a neighborhood on his way to meet friends when someone confronted him. Kids told police the gunman chased him after he refused to hand over his headphones, NBC 10 Philadelphia reports.
Massey was shot in the chest in an alley. The assailant ran off without the headphones. The 21-year-old was conscious when police found him and was able to tell them about the attempted robbery.
Massey was transferred to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was pronounced dead later that evening.
Friends and family are still in shock as to how this could have happened to someone so loved as Massey. The 6-foot-2, 300-pound mentally challenged 21-year-old was left as a ward of state when he was 12. He attended Marple Newtown for six years and graduated in June.
Massey played varsity football for two years and varsity basketball for the Tigers. Friends say when he wasn’t playing, he served as the manager for the Tigers baseball team.
The kids called him a “gentle giant,” Marple Newtown football coach Ray Gionta said.
“Christian was a great kid who was also a responsible kid, too, and let you know when or if he wasn’t able to make practice,” he said. “Athletically, he had some ability. He was a kid who could move. Knowing Christian and what I know about the shooting, there probably wasn’t any confrontation. He would avoid that at all costs. He didn’t have a mean streak in his body. The kids absolutely loved Christian.”
“That’s what is so shocking about this tragedy,” said Dennis Reardon, Marple Newtown’s assistant principal and athletic director. “Christian was the nicest kid. He was such a big part of Marple Newtown.”
After graduating, Massey was accepted by the Hiram G. Andrews Center, in Johnstown, Pa., last year to learn construction.
Sources: NBC 10 Philadelphia, Philly.com