Headphones Were Target of Gunman Who Shot Ex-High School Athlete Dead

Tuesday, 03 Dec 2013 05:22 PM

By David Ogul

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Refusing to hand over a new pair of $300 headphones, a beloved former Philadelphia high school athlete with mental limitations was shot dead Saturday.

According to NBC10 in Philadelphia, a gunman confronted Christian Massey on Lebanon Avenue Saturday afternoon and demanded the victim turn over his popular Beats headphones by Dr. Dre. Massey refused and tried to run. The robber fired five rounds. Massey, conscious initially, told officers what happened and died 30 minutes later at a hospital.

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He had bought the headphones just the day before.

“Why did they have to shoot him?” the victim’s grandmother, Eula Hodge, told the television station. “They didn’t get what they shot him for so he was shot for nothing.”

Massey stood 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed 305 pounds, but those who knew him told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the former football and basketball player at Marple Newtown High School was a gentle giant who spent most of his teenage years in foster care and used weekend passes from his group home to visit his family in West Philadelphia.

“He was as sweet as he could be,” Hodge told the Inquirer.

The Philadelphia Daily News reported that Massey went from a school for special-needs boys to being mainstreamed at the Marple Newtown School District. He spent six years at the high school and graduated at 21 because of his limitations.

He played two years of varsity football and one year of varsity baseball. He even served as goalie on the lacrosse team to help out some friends when the squad didn’t have one.

“Christian was a great kid who was also a responsible kid, too, and let you know when or if he wasn’t able to make it to practice,” Marple Newtown football coach Ray Gionta told the Daily News. “Athletically, he had some ability. He was a big kid who could move. Knowing Christian and what I know about the shooting, there probably wasn’t any confrontation. He would avoid that at all costs. He didn’t have a mean streak in his body. The kids absolutely loved Christian.”

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