Former W. MI man assaulted, taken off life support


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A former West Michigan resident was taken off life support days after he was found unresponsive and seriously injured in San Francisco.

Bryan Higgins, a former Kalamazoo area resident who now resides in California, was found in San Francisco’s Duboce Triangle neighborhood Sunday morning around 7 a.m., according to Bay Area NBC affiliate KNTV and San Francisco police. KNTV says he was removed from life support Wednesday.

Police asked for the public's help to identify Bryan Higgins after he was found unresponsive in San Fransisco Sunday. (Courtesy: NBC)
(Higgins. Courtesy: NBC)

Not much is known about what happened to him, KNTV reports. Police could not initially identify him because he was found without his wallet or any type of identification.

San Francisco police told 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday surveillance video from the area where Higgins was found showed that he is a victim of a crime, but they would not say how he was beaten or what kind of weapon was used in the assault.

The suspect in the assault, who is described by police as a man in his 20s or 30s who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, was initially expected to be charged with assault with a deadly weapon. However, police said that charge would be upgraded to homicide after Higgins was removed from life support.

Wednesday evening, dozens of Higgins’ friends and family gathered at Bronson Park in Kalamazoo for a vigil.

People begin to gather in Kalamazoo for a vigil for Bryan Higgins. (Aug. 13, 2014)“My nephew Bryan was an amazing soul. Extremely intelligent, handsome, beautiful, loving, kind caring, spiritual,” said Steve Horton, Higgins’ uncle.

His spirituality is something friends and family said will shine on.

“I very angry, but I’m letting the love take over the emotion right now, Because anger is not the answer. Anger leads to hatred, hatred leads to crime. Why be angry?” Horton said.

His uncle remembered their relationship as close, saying they were both family members and friends.

“I really am truly sad that he left this world in such a manner. And I will always hold a place in my heart. And how he was connected with everybody here. I will never forget him,” Horton said.

He said the attack on Higgins was senseless and doesn’t understand how someone could commit such a horrific act to someone who knew nothing other than love.

“We’re all confused. We’re all sad,” he said. “It’s a shock for somebody so healthy, for so young, for so beautiful a soul to just leave in that manner.”A vigil in Kalamazoo for Bryan Higgins. (Aug. 13, 2014)

Higgins, who went by the nickname ‘Feather,’ moved to San Francisco years ago and married Brian Haggerty on Dec. 13, 2013 — exactly eight months before he was taken off life support.

His uncle was moved by the number of people that attended the vigil.

“It just shows me what love can conquer, love is the answer and that if everybody had a kindred heart and a kind spirit like my nephew, they would have more people in their lives,” Horton said.

A vigil in Kalamazoo for Bryan Higgins. (Aug. 13, 2014)At the same time, across the country, more friends gathered and held hands in a circle at a park in San Francisco.

Balloons of every color were released at the vigil to remember Higgins.

“We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, we are all spiritual beings that have human experiences. Feather’s human experience has ended and now his spirit is free to fly,” said Liz George, Higgins’ sister-in-law.

“He is amazing. He is with us forever. In our hearts, in our dreams and he will be beside each and every one of us every time we think of him. I love you, Bryan, and wish you well on this new journey. It’s only the beginning,” she continued.

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