EAST ATLANTA — Too often, crime victims are not much more to us than names on police blotters.
They're statistics in the rough and tumble of daily life and violence that mars the history of too many families, in too many cities in what is the richest nation in the history of this planet we call Earth.
On Saturday night, Patrick Cotrona, an East Atlanta resident, lost his life.
He was shot as he walked with friends on May Avenue SE. His street where he owned his home.
Shot after he handed the wallet to his killer.
His family is in mourning and trying to make sense of the unimaginable.
On Monday afternoon his brother-in-law hung a placard and flowers on a utility pole on May Avenue just a few feet from where a gunman's bullet felled the 33-year-old Georgia Tech graduate.
"He was a beautiful person," Greg Krumm, his brother-law, said. "He loved everyone and he would have loved the people who shot him. But they didn't let him."
His family isn't ready to share the fullness of the loss of the man they called son, brother, uncle and friend.
But for now, they want May Avenue, the East Atlanta neighborhood and the city of Atlanta to know he was a person who had a name.
It wasn't "victim."
His name was Patrick Cotrona.