Crime Files Network

Samaritan shot while feeding

homeless loses fight for life

July 29, 2011 – 1:27PM

The man shot while on his nightly mission with his family to feed the homeless has died from his wounds, police say.

Paris Powell, 29, was removed from life support late on Wednesday after the attack in the Californian suburb of Oakland.

He was shot in the head during a drive-by shooting early as he and his pregnant 35-year-old wife and her three- and seven-year-old daughters were serving a hot meal to a 61-year-old former homeless man they had befriended more than a year ago.

His wife and the three-year-old suffered arm wounds. The other child and the older man were not hurt. No arrests have been made, and police still do not have a motive.

Distributing food to the homeless was something Powell, known as “Brother John”, and his wife had been doing for a while.

His aunt, who asked that her name not be used, said her nephew, who she helped raise and saw before he died, was doing volunteer work instilled in him since he was a little boy.

“This is just tragic,” the aunt said. “He didn’t bother anyone. He was doing the right thing and to be taken out like that, it’s not right. No one has the right to take another person’s life.”

She said Powell, who met his wife about three years ago, was looking forward to the birth of his child.

He worked construction jobs and as a hauler, and they used their own funds and got donations to buy the food they cooked for the homeless and others.


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