Man Who Saved Bed-Stuy Gun Victim Shot to Death in South Carolina
BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — The good Samaritan who helped save a Bed-Stuy shooting victim last year was found shot to death in a South Carolina trailer park on Wednesday, according to his friends and reports.
John Morant, 41, was found shot in the back in St. Stephen, South Carolina, about 11 a.m. Wednesday morning, according to CBS affiliate WCSC.
The Bed-Stuy native died on the way to the emergency room and a police investigation is ongoing, a spokesman from the St. Stephen Police Department said.
A friend and coworker confirmed on Friday that Morant was shot while on vacation.
"It's just so, so shocking," said Yorgan Benjamin, who worked with Morant at George's Best Cuts Barbershop, 409 Nostrand Ave. "We don't even know what the cause [of the shooting] is."
After hearing gunfire from his barbershop down the street, Morant rushed to Wiriadjaja's aid, putting pressure on the gunshot wound to his chest and keeping him conscious before EMTs arrived.
Wiriadjaja was eventually rushed to Kings County Hospital and placed into a weeklong sedated coma before recovering. Doctors told him that he would have died without Morant's help, as DNAinfo New York first reported.
The shooting also inspired Wiriadjaja to become an activist against gun violence.
"They said, 'I want to let you know that if you weren't there, he would have died,'" Morant said last month. "I said, 'praise Jesus.'"
The two men finally met last month after almost a year, thanks to a camera crew filming a short documentary on Wiriadjaja'a ordeal.
After talking about their shared experience, Morant revealed his own scar from a 1986 shooting, which was almost identical to Wiriadjaja's.
Wiriadjaja said he tried to reach out to Morant again on Thursday, only to find out he'd been killed.
"I'm in shock, really," he said. "He was the nicest guy in the world. And he saved my life."
Morant's family was not immediately available for comment and has not spoken to Wiriadjaja. But the 30-year-old said he hoped to speak with them soon.
"It would be really nice to talk to them, and tell them how much he meant to me," he said.