A man from Albany, New York, was killed—after he tried to protect his elderly mother during an armed robbery on Sunday morning, Dec. 3.
Thomas Anthony Dixon, 50, died from a single bullet wound to his torso according to Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler.
He was shot on Willis Drive just after 9:30 a.m., NBC affiliate WALB reported. Dixon died at the scene.
“I was in shock. I really couldn’t believe it because even though he drank he didn’t bother nobody,” his cousin Jerry Gibson told WALB.
According to The Associated Press, the suspect escaped on foot after the shooting. Albany police are currently searching for him but as of writing on Monday, the identity of the attacker was still unknown.
Police said that Dixon was trying to protect his 72-year-old mother from an armed robbery. At the time the mother—Willie Mae Dixon—was walking to her car to go to church, Fox31 reported.
The mother told officers that as she was walking, the attacker, a male, pointed a gun at her and demanded her purse. She said she was thrown to the ground as the man tried to steal her purse and keys, and she started yelling for help.
That’s when her son who lived next door, came running over and confronted the attacker before getting shot, according to Fox31.
“I mean out of the 50 some years on this street we’ve never had a situation like this before,” Gibson told WALB.
Gibson called Dixon a hero for his actions. He said they grew up together in the same home and that Dixon was like a brother to him.
“He was a good guy. Everyone in the community knew him,” Gibson told WALB. “He was aggravating at times, but he was a lovable guy. And for somebody to take his life. I can’t wake up on a first Sunday knowing that this would be happening.”
A reporter for WALB posted a video of the shooting scene.
The cousin said now he can only cherish the memories they had together.
“For many years he played Santa Claus with me for my kids, for all my kids. They’re grown now, but for many years we played Santa Claus together, Christmas Eve together, spent Christmas together. We shared everything together. And for somebody to take his life is just devastating,” he said.
Police said the suspect is a black male with a medium to dark skin complexion. He is about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds and was last seen running west, then north on Willis Drive wearing a dark gray hoodie with large gold letters.
Another cousin of Dixon, Aquarius Queen, was still coming to terms with his death on Sunday.
In a message to the public, Gibson pleaded with others not to resort to violence.
“We can’t. We killing each other, man. This is our community. This is our streets. This is our home—Albany,” he told WALB.
The death of Dixon marks the 22nd homicide case in Albany for 2017, according to WALB. However one of the cases was a victim whose remains were only recently identified, as the crime took place years ago.
If anyone has information on the shooting, please call CrimeSTOPPERS at (229) 436-TIPS.
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