CROWN HEIGHTS, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A school community has come together to help raise money after a beloved crossing guard was shot and killed during an apparent dispute on a subway train this weekend.
Officials say Richard Henderson, 45, was shot in the back and shoulder on Sunday just before 8:30 p.m. on a Manhattan-bound No. 3 train approaching the Franklin Ave-Medgar Evers College station.
Detectives are being told that Henderson was attempting to break up an argument between two fellow passengers over loud music.
Police say Henderson may not have even been the intended target, the gunman may have been firing in the direction of the man he was arguing with, striking Henderson instead.
Detectives believe the gunman escaped before the train pulled into the Franklin Avenue stop along Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights.
The father of three and grandfather of two worked as a crossing guard at the Avenues The World School, a private school in Chelsea.
"He was not just a crossing guard person," said one parent, Millen Magese. "He was more of a grandfather to the little ones, a father to the older ones, so it came to us as a big shock."
One person calling Henderson "the strong and most loyal protector of our community's children" is why one student, Leo Prince, decided to start a GoFundMe.
"I just knew that the family would need some sort of help during this tough time," said Prince.
The GoFundMe for Henderson's family has already raised more than $200,000.
A family is now trying to support each other as they are left trying to come to grips with what's happened.
"I'm just numb. They need us right now," said Henderson's brother Jermaine Henderson.
It came as no surprise to Henderson's family that he died trying to diffuse a tense confrontation between strangers.
"He's that type of person that would step in and try to diffuse the situation," said one family member. "Even if it really had nothing to do or whether he knew the person or not."
Henderson's neighbors were also mourning his death.
"He was a people's person. He was very friendly. He always wanted to do good things. He always tried to solve a problem," a neighbor told Eyewitness News. "And for this to happen, it just hurts."
On a sidewalk in Chelsea on Tuesday, tributes were written in chalk next to hearts and flowers.
No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
Henderson's death marks the first homicide in the subway system of 2024.
The MTA released the following statement:
"Our hearts go out to the family of Richard Henderson who was shot on a 3 train as he was making his way home Sunday night. This is another sad reminder that gun violence has no place in this city. The MTA is cooperating fully with the investigation to ensure the perpetrator can be brought to justice."