He Was Handing Out Cash to Strangers, Got Fatally Shot

Good Samaritan got into verbal altercation that quickly turned physical
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2019 3:40 PM CDT
He Was Paying for Strangers' Food, Got Fatally Shot
Ezekiel Hicks   (Alachua County Sheriff)

Craig Brewer was paying for strangers' meals and handing out $20 bills at a Gainesville, Florida, Waffle House when the 41-year-old good Samaritan was shot to death. The incident took place just after 3am Sunday, per the Alachua County Sheriff. Deputies had already been called to the scene before the shooting, because the restaurant was getting too crowded. By the time they arrived, the shooting had taken place. "It was literally in the single digits worth of minutes from the time we received the initial call from the Waffle House, saying, 'Hey, there's too many people here, we'd like a hand clearing the restaurant,' to deputies are on the scene, told about a shooting, and we have a suspect in custody and a firearm recovered," a sheriff's office spokesperson tells ABC News. "This incident went from a verbal altercation to a homicide in minutes, if not seconds."

Police say a female acquaintance of suspected shooter Ezekiel Hicks was upset she wasn't the recipient of any of Brewer's generosity, and got into a verbal altercation with Brewer in which Hicks intervened. Police say Hicks left the restaurant, got a 9mm Glock pistol, and "despite the efforts of at least one bystander, the suspect went back inside, approached the victim, and a physical fight started. As the fight continued, the suspect took the handgun from his pants and shot Brewer in the head. The entire incident was captured on surveillance video." Hicks, 25, was arrested in the parking lot, and police say he confessed to the shooting. They are currently investigating whether there was any prior relationship between the three people involved. Hicks faces charges of premeditated murder in the first degree and carrying an unlicensed firearm. (Good Samaritan stopped to help, paid awful price.)

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