Gerald Cummings confronted a group of young men about his son's stolen baseball cap, and wound up losing his life as a result, police say. The 38-year-old father of two was shot twice in the head near a basketball court outside a Brooklyn elementary school around 10:15pm Wednesday, police say. Authorities say Cummings' 17-year-old son, Gerald Sealey, was playing basketball when he spotted three teens who'd beat him up and stolen his hat at the same spot several days earlier, reports the New York Daily News. As one of the teens was wearing his hat, Sealey called Cummings, who arrived and took it back, police say.
But as the 16-year-old thief tried to grab the Oakland Raiders hat back from Cummings, his friend pulled out a gun and opened fire, police say. Cummings was shot in the back, temple, and the back of the head and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Sealey wasn't hurt. "All he did was confront the kids that beat up his son—and lost his life in the process of defending his child," a friend of Cummings says. "He never carried no malice in his heart," his widow adds, per DNA Info. "He was a loving father and devoted friend. ... He gave his all to anybody." Police have identified at least one of the suspects, but no arrests have been made. (Two soldiers were shot dead while trying to protect a woman outside a bar last week.)