A fight on the streets of East New York in Brooklyn early New Year’s Day led to the first New York City murder of 2010 and left a South Jamaica family mourning a 21-year-old man’s death.
Kirk Holgate, a beloved father, husband, son and grandson who spent several years of his youth in South Jamaica, was stabbed to death during a large fight that broke out at a house party he was attending, authorities said.
Police responded at about 2:53 a.m. Friday to a 911 call reporting a stabbing and found Holgate bleeding from stab wounds to his groin and face. He and an unnamed 27-year-old man with a stab wound to his back were taken to Brookdale Hospital, where Holgate was pronounced dead on arrival at 3:34 a.m. and the unnamed victim was in stable condition Friday afternoon, according to police.
No arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon, and no charges had been filed in the case, police said.
Holgate, who split his time between his family’s South Jamaica home, where he lived for five years, and his and his wife’s home in East New York, left behind a large family that included his wife, Lissette Holgate; their 2-year-old son, Durran “D.D.” Holgate; his mother, Denise Ellis; and his grandmother, Marvine Tucker. As the large family gathered in the living room Monday night to discuss their grief over losing a man they loved, the small children of the household, including Durran, played obliviously.
Lisette said Durran does not yet understand what has happened to his father.
“He sees pictures and he’ll be like ‘Daddy,’ but he doesn’t really know,” she said. “All I’ve been telling people is don’t take things for granted, anything can be taken away from you.”
Described as someone who was loved by everyone, Lissette said Kirk, who had lost a job as a janitor at a nearby hotel about a month ago, loved music, dancing, rapping and writing rap lyrics.
“He was the life of the party,” said his aunt, Vinette Frederick. “If Kirk’s around, you’re smiling or laughing about something because Kirk’s just fun.”
Police determined through a preliminary investigation that Holgate and the other victim were involved in “an altercation with an unknown suspect” on the corner of Ashford Street and Pitkin Avenue, during which the men were stabbed.
Holgate fled into a home on Ashford, while the unnamed victim was found by police seated in a car parked on that street and the attacker fled in an unknown direction, police said.
“It was a big commotion in the middle of Pitkin Avenue. Everyone was fighting, half of the party was outside fighting — like 30 people,” Lissette said. “After the fight, I went and I saw him laying down bleeding. He was telling us to call the ambulance, and I called the ambulance, and it took so long to come. He said to take off his shoes, and we took off his shoes and he was just there bleeding to death.”
And from a fight at a house party, an event Ellis said Kirk would usually avoid, preferring clubs or staying at home, came a death that has left a gaping hole in the tight family Kirk loved to be a part of, according to Tucker.
“I miss him so much, and I can’t believe they took him away from us. He was such a good person, everyone loved him, there was no way to say anything bad about him,” said Tucker. “I’m sick from it now. He was my first grandson, I loved him so much. I wish he could come be back right now. I wish those murderers would turn themselves in. I would be so happy because it could prevent someone else from being killed.”
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 138.
©2010 Community News Group
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