A 21-year-old mentally challenged high school athlete was fatally shot Saturday over a pair of headphones, according to local media reports.
The 6-foot-2, 300 pound Christian Massey was walking through a Philadelphia neighborhood to meet friends when he was confronted by an armed robber, The Inquirer reported.
The assailant reportedly demanded Massey hand over his band new Beats by Dre headphones, but the 21-year-old refused and instead tried to flee. The suspect fired five rounds, hitting Massey, according to WCAU-TV. The would-be-robber left the headphones lying next to his body.
Police arrived on scene and rushed Massey to the hospital, but it was too late. He died 30 minutes later.
Friends and family mourned for his loss on Monday at a candlelight vigil.
“There’s so much love here you can look out here and see,” Roshon Massey, Christian’s cousin, who held him in his arms as he died, told WCAU-TV. “Somebody had to kill him over nothing. This is crazy.”
“To me, he was my child,” Eula Hodge, his grandmother, added. “Why did they have to shoot him. They didn’t get what they shot him for so he was shot for nothing.”
Massey was described as a “gentle giant” by friends and played football, basketball and even lacrosse in high school.
“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,” Marple Newtown football coach Ray Gionta told The Inquirer. “Athletically, he had some ability. He was a big kid who could move.”
“Knowing Christian and what I know about the shooting, there probably wasn’t any confrontation,” the coach added. “He would avoid that at all costs. He didn’t have a mean streak in his body. The kids absolutely loved Christian.”
Massey’s former assistant principal, Dennis Reardon, said he was shocked at the news.
“Christian was the nicest kid,” he told The Inquirer. “He was such a big part of Marple Newtown.”
No arrests have been made as of last night.
Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter