The family of Lamont "Monty" Holman says that while he was known to have psychiatric problems, he was well liked and frequently performed odd jobs in the neighborhood.
They are still trying to figure out what could have happened leading to the death of the 45-year-old man early Tuesday. He was killed when a car he was hanging from crashed on Cambridge Avenue.
The victim's brother, Murray Holman, who is chairman of Buffalo's STOP The Violence coalition, is convinced the city's drug underworld contributed to the fatal accident.
Holman said the still-unidentified 44-year-old Medina woman who crashed her vehicle into a tree is "a regular in the neighborhood" because of its drug trade. "It's is definitely drugs," that played a role somehow in the death of his brother, Holman said. "Everyone took care of him, and my brother did not have a violent bone in his body."
Holman, who for the past three years has been driving around the city in a 12-person STOP The Violence bus, said he is upset at not having gotten a call from Mayor Byron W. Brown, despite all the anti-violence and community improvement work he has performed.
Holman, who had the grim task of identifying his brother's remains at the Erie County morgue, noted his brother had been afflicted with schizophrenia for the last three decades.
In fact, he said "Monty" was scheduled for his next weekly anti-psychotic shot in Erie County Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon.
"Monty" Holman, who lived on an SSI pension because of his mental disability, would routinely perform jobs for everyone in their East Side neighborhood, cutting grass or doing other tasks, his brother said.
He said he and other family members will be consulting with an attorney today about what they can do about his brother's death.
Holman also noted the murder of his father-in-law, 61-year-old Joseph Washington, who was shot in August 2010 in the 1400 block of Main Street near Glenwood Avenue, remains unsolved.
While funeral arraignments are still incomplete, Holman said the family expects to have a service in Good Shepherd Temple, a nondenominational church on Goodyear Avenue, the street where "Monty" Holman grew up.
Police spokesman said Homicide Squad detectives and Accident Investigation officers are still investigating the Tuesday incident. Anyone with information is urged to contact police at the TIPCALL 847-2255 number or text a tip on the department's website, www.bpdny.org.