Ryan Carson was a longtime campaign organizer for New York Public Research Group whose work recently focused on improving recycling and solid waste management
A New York City man who dedicated his life to fighting for social justice was fatally stabbed in Brooklyn on Monday, according to multiple reports.
Ryan Carson, 32, was stabbed at around 4 a.m. in the Crown Heights neighborhood while standing on the street with his girlfriend, police sources told CBS News.
The assailant approached and asked, “What are you looking at?" before stabbing Carson in the chest numerous times, the outlet reported, citing sources. The outlet reported that Carson's girlfriend was not injured during the attack.
Police said there have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing, per CBS News.
Carson was a longtime campaign organizer for New York Public Research Group whose work recently focused on improving recycling and solid waste management. The organization issued a statement after his killing, saying, in part, "Ryan was a beloved staffer, colleague and friend, and a creative, talented, relentless and upbeat advocate for students and the environment. His engaging personality, hearty laugh and wide-ranging intelligence were keys to his success in advancing the causes he deeply cared about in his work and personal life."
On Monday night, more than 100 people gathered for a candlelight vigil to honor Carson's life, News 12 reported. Those in attendance said he and his girlfriend had left a wedding and were heading home before the stabbing, per the outlet.
"You know it’s hard when the person you go to to talk about grief is the one who died," State Assemblymember Emily Gallagher, a friend of Carson's, told News 12. "It’s been really difficult to comprehend," she added.
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“I’m horrified to learn of the brutal murder of advocate Ryan Carson in Brooklyn today,” New York City Council Member Chi Ossé wrote on X (formerly Twitter.) “This tireless defender of his neighbors was stolen from us. Committed to ending this senseless violence, my heart is with his family.”
Ossé’s fellow Council Member, Sandy Nurse, wrote that her “team was devastated to hear of Ryan Carson’s passing.”
“Ryan was a dedicated environmental advocate who worked tirelessly to protect our communities and ecosystems from the climate crisis," Nurse added.
The New York Communities for Change community organization described the social justice advocate on X as “a wonderful advocate and ally” who was “taken too soon.”
In 2021, Carson walked from New York City to Albany to lobby for safe injection facilities and raised more than $20,000 for the cause, according to a GoFundMe page he launched.
Blair Horner, Carson's boss at NYPIRG, told ABC 7 that his killing was "incredibly tragic."
“A life full of promise is snuffed out," she added. "And the world is a worse place for it and we'll miss him dearly.”
The NYPD did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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