Joseph Hale was devoted to his family.
The 35-year-old Batavia native was a husband and father. He worked 12-hour days at a Cheektowaga technology firm to support his family. He had been a Little League coach and passionate follower of the Boston Red Sox, and he loved teaching his 4-year-old son how to play baseball.
But Hale, of St. Lawrence Avenue, will never throw his son another baseball. He won't be able to hug his wife, Dana, report for work at the Derrick Corp. in Cheektowaga or watch another Red Sox win at Fenway Park.
Hale was killed last month trying to fend off armed robbers near the city's medical corridor.
His family is pleading with the public to identify the two men suspected in his death who were shown in a surveillance video released this week by Buffalo Police. A $1,000 reward is being offered through Crime-Stoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Hale's death.
"He just loved life," said Dana Hale, his wife of nearly seven years. "He had a great time and was fun to be around."
Hale, who had issued pleas for the capture of the killers on a Facebook page "to get the message out," said family members have undergone a trying month and are holding together as best they can. The Hales' 4-year-old son, Dominic, has undergone therapy to cope with his dad's death.
"We're doing OK; we have our good moments and our bad moments," Hale said. "It's difficult facing it every day that he's not coming back. We're doing OK because we don't have a choice."
The widow said she doesn't know much about the events near St. Paul Mall and Ellicott Street about 3 a.m. July 1.
"They think it was a potential robbery," she said. "He was out with some friends of his in the Allentown district. How he wound up there [on the other side of Main Street], I don't know."
She said authorities told her he may have been attacked by the men who tried to rob him. It appears he may have resisted and tried to flee. The robbers chased him and fired gunshots at him as he fled, striking him. He was rushed to the Erie County Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
Hale said it would be "just like" her husband to stand up to men trying to rob him.
"He would die before he'd give up," she said, "and, he did."
The video of the two suspects was taken shortly before the fatal shooting at a nearby business, police said. It clearly shows the face of at least one of the men. It can be viewed online at buffalonews.com by going to the East Side communities page.
Anyone with information is encouraged to call or text the Buffalo Police anonymous tip call line at 847-2255 or to email the information to www.bpdny.org and click on "Report a Tip."