Issue:  Vol. 48 / No. 8 / 22 February 2018

Prayer service planned for gay homicide victim

Bryan Higgins in an undated photo. Photo: Courtesy Bryan Higgins's Facebook page

Bryan Higgins in an undated photo. Photo: Courtesy Bryan Higgins’s Facebook page

A prayer service is planned for a gay man who recently died after being found injured in the Duboce Triangle neighborhood.

Bryan Higgins, 31, will be remembered at 11:15 a.m. Monday, August 18 at the corner of Church Street and Duboce Avenue. Higgins was found on the ground at the intersection at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning, August 10 and taken to San Francisco General Hospital. He died after being taken off life support at 3:33 p.m. Wednesday, August 13. At that time, around 200 people gathered at Duboce Park for a vigil.

A campaign has begun to help Higgins’s family with funeral, medical, and other expenses. The goal is $5,000.

Albie Esparza, a spokesman for the San Francisco Police Department, has described the suspect in Higgins’s death as a white male in his 20s or 30s wearing a gray hoodie, based on video surveillance footage.

As of Friday afternoon, August 15, Esparza said police are still not releasing photos of the suspect, and there have been no arrests.

Esparza said Higgins’s injuries had been investigated as an attempted homicide and assault with a deadly weapon before he was taken off life support, and the case is now being investigated as a homicide.

He said Higgins “had injuries,” but he didn’t know what they were.

“There was no obvious traumatic injury” such as stabbing or gunshot wounds, he said.

It will likely be several months before the medical examiner’s office releases the cause and manner of Higgins’s death.

Higgins, who was a member of the Faerie community, was also known as Feather Lynn.

Like many people who knew Higgins, Linda, 65, who didn’t want her last name published because most people know her as “The Laundry Lady,” spoke of his kindness.

“He was a happy person, very kind to everyone,” she said. She manages a Laundromat near Higgins’s Noe Street home and had known him for about three or four years. “… He’d always say, ‘Good morning, Sunshine,’ which was really precious to me.”

Brian Busta, 50, was a close friend and neighbor of Higgins’s.

“He was just really super free-spirited” and “creative,” said Busta, who’s also known by his Faerie name, Chickpea. “He was really a joy to be around.”

Monday’s memorial is being held by the Restorative Justice Ministry for Victims and Survivors of Violent Crimes of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

Julio Escobar, the ministry’s director, said part of his group’s aim is to “do a blessing of the land. We hope that somebody else doesn’t die there.” The ministry, which regularly does prayer services for victims of crime in the city, also tries to work with families to help them “in the process of healing.”

— Seth Hemmelgarn, August 15, 2014 @ 5:09 pm PST
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