A disabled autistic man was on his way home when an unknown man shoved him into oncoming traffic in North Miami, Florida.
The man was hit by a vehicle and, unfortunately, did not survive.
24-year-old Rashard Pierce, who worked at Goodwill, had just gotten off a North Miami bus and was walking home when a man walked up behind him and pushed him in front of a car.
He was immediately taken to hospital but was pronounced dead by doctors.
Pierce’s family learned about his death when his mother went to the police station to reported that her son had not come home.
According to witnesses, the man who pushed Pierce was dressed in black and fled the scene after pushing him.
Police have classified the incident as a homicide and detectives have informed the family that witnesses saw Pierce in a dispute with a man.
The family, however, is demanding answer as to why Pierce was targeted.
“You didn’t need to do this to him. He was a good person. He couldn’t have done anything to you that would’ve have caused you to do this to him. You need to tell us why you did this — why you took him from us,” said Niya Dukes-Louden, Pierce’s sister.
She added, “He was visually impaired, which made it difficult for him to really see. He had a form of autism. So he had his disabilities so we know that that’s what kept him kind of to himself. For someone to do this to him was cruel.”
Dukes-Louden described the family's worry when Pierce didn’t return home from work.
“It was unusual when he didn’t come home from work. My brother — he was autistic — had a pattern he followed where he’d be home at a certain time every day. It’s been a big shock. He was such a kind person. “Our mother, who helped my brother because of his disabilities, is having a real hard time. She still gets up every morning with the mindset of taking him to the bus stop. It’s hard for her to walk around the house. Everything reminds her of him,” she said.
One of Pierce’s close friends Myesha Lyles also recalled time spent with him and said he was funny, sweet and always available for a phone call about anything at all. She also regretted that due to work pressure, she hadn’t been able keep in touch in recent weeks.
Five years ago, Pierce was diagnosed with glaucoma, an eye disease that is often associated with elevated intraocular pressure which can lead to loss of vision. It was then that he started working at Goodwill.
Police are looking for information regarding the killer and have also offered a $3,000 reward for anyone who provides information.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Francois Lenoir