NCAVP mourns the death of Jonathan Breeding, a 23-year-old queer man who was fatally shot in Waco, Texas on August 17. Jonathan was the victim of a series of shootings orchestrated by Damarion Degate, who lured three different men to meet up using the dating app, Grindr. Jonathan was the only victim who passed away.
Around 2 a.m., police found Jonathan after he had crashed his car into a pole while attempting to drive after his attack. Jonathan’s attacker was initially arrested in August in connection with one of the non-lethal shootings, and has now been charged with murder, according to a statement released by the Waco Police Department. In an earlier statement the police urged citizens to be cautious when using dating apps, “in particular those that cater to the LGBT+ community. We strongly recommend arranging online dating meetings in public venues.”
A GoFundMe scholarship is being set up in Jonathan’s honor at Waco High School, where he graduated in 2015. The organizer, Julia Hunter Therrell, plans to award the scholarship to class presidents of the school until the fund runs out. “Jonathan was the most free-spirited, loving and unique young man, He was a friend to all he met. The world lost one of the best,” writes Julia. The post is accompanied by a series of quotes on Jonathan’s loss and character. “”I still can’t believe he’s gone! Sooo young and his heart was sooo beautiful You will never be forgotten baby! RIP Jon Breeding,” reads one. “Rest beautifully, and light up Heaven with your vibrant, unmatched, and bold personality Jon Breeding! We love you. Always,” reads another.
NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.