Family and friends have identified Randall Smith, an entrepreneur and civil rights activist, as the victim of a fatal shooting in Minneapolis.
Smith, 41, managed the south Minneapolis-based All Square grilled-cheese restaurant, the anchor for a social justice nonprofit that hires and helps find a path for people after prison. Smith was also a graduate of All Square's fellowship program, and he helped start the All Square Fellow Fund.
"He was the best parts of all of us," said Kevin Reese, a friend of Smith and executive director of the group Until We Are All Free. "We are feeling the loss of not only our brother, but we are actually feeling the loss in our work. Because Randall meant so much to everything that we are building."
Community members held a vigil for Smith at the site of his killing on Friday night, and the owner of All Square has started a GoFundMe to raise money for his funeral.
Time named All Square one of 2019's "Greatest Places." After the murder of George Floyd, the Vikings donated $250,000 to All Square. Earlier this year, Smith told the Star Tribune he planned to apply for a grant from that funding to start his own car-detailing business.
Smith's friends described him as a dependable leader who'd overcome more than his share of life's hardships. He always showed up on time, worked hard and made personal connections with everyone who came into his orbit, they said.
"He was just a profound human being," said Emily Hunt Turner, founder and CEO of All Square. "We called him 'the Prophet,' because he was about as centered in and committed to humanity as anyone I've known."
"He in so many ways has been the heartbeat of All Square," said Turner.
As a testament to Smith's positive outlook on life, Reese said, Smith sent him a text by 8 a.m. every morning with the same message: "Top of the morning, king. Stay blessed."
"He got up earlier than me, and he had the time and capacity to send that text," said Reese. "Every. Morning."
Smith's life was cut short on Wednesday, around 8:40 p.m. The father of two was shot while sitting in his car on the south end of downtown, near U.S. Bank Stadium, according to preliminary reports from police.
"His blood is on the curb somewhere in south Minneapolis," said Reese. "This is what Minneapolis would do to its leaders."
His death marks the 89th homicide in Minneapolis this year, the second-highest count in the city's history.