Authorities say 50-year-old Douglas Smith was beaten with a hammer and stabbed while he worked out at the East Flatbush gym. He died at Kings County Hospital Sunday morning.
"He was a gentle giant," Smith's father, 77-year-old Castello Smith, told the New York Daily News. "I wish I could have been with him. At least he would have been able to hear my voice. I would have said, 'Dougie, this is your daddy."
Witnesses say the incident began with an argument between the tall and well-built Smith and a smaller club member over a Nautilus machine. The fight was over who claimed first dibs on the machine.
Later, while Smith worked out, he was reportedly attacked by the man and a friend, stabbed three times in the back and hit in the head with the hammer.
Shawn Hing, 19, was arrested Sunday night and charged with second-degree murder. Hing, who is being held without bail, allegedly swung the hammer.
Smith was a social worker for a nonprofit that helps parolees and also worked as a bar bouncer. Published reports say he also got a master's degree in psychology within the past year, as well as reunited with a 19-year-old son he had been estranged from for seven years.