Robert Hinton had a chance to move on with his life. But the former inmate of Riker's Island—whose savage beating there by guards spawned a pending $450,000 settlement—was shot and killed Thursday night outside a housing project in Brooklyn, the Daily News reports. Hinton had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner with his family when the 28-year-old went home with his nephews and little sister, according to his aunt, Lynette Johnson. She says the family was still together when they heard news of his death. "It was devastating," says Johnson. "It doesn’t seem real. In the blink of eye you’re gone. He was a beautiful person." Another victim was shot in the leg and fled the scene, officials say. Police are still seeking the gunman.
Hinton was just weeks from receiving his money over the beating he suffered at Riker's in April 2012, the New York Times reports. In his lawsuit, Hinton said a captain and five guards shackled and beat him, fracturing a vertebra and breaking his nose; all six were later fired for the attack. Hinton apparently hoped for a new start with the payout, but his mom, Parys Johnson, tells the Daily News that he "felt like something was going to happen to him." She says her son was likely "set up" by people who believed he already had the settlement money. Hinton has a pregnant girlfriend, but it's unclear who, if anyone, will receive the money. Hinton had been linked to the Bloods street gang and was serving time for shooting and injuring a man when the beating occurred. (Read about an innocent man who was "tortured" at Riker's and later killed himself.)