LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A young protest leader known for his energy and optimism amid Louisville's movement for racial justice became a new symbol of gun violence when he was shot and killed early Monday.
Hamza "Travis" Nagdy, 21, has been identified as the victim of a shooting just before 12:30 a.m. EST on Crittenden Drive in Louisville, according to social media posts by several family members, including his mother and stepmother.
Few details about Nagdy's death have been released. But Louisville Metro Police spokesman Matt Sanders said the victim of the Crittenden Drive shooting was transported to University of Louisville Hospital, where he later died as a result of his injuries.
LMPD's homicide unit is investigating, and no suspects have been identified.
In separate Facebook posts, Nagdy's mother and stepmother both wrote that he had been killed.
Nagdy was a regular at Jefferson Square Park, where protesters have gathered to demand justice for Breonna Taylor since late May.
A candlelight vigil is scheduled to take place there at 6 p.m. Monday in his honor.
'He believed he could be a big part of that change'
An organizer who was easily spotted by his bullhorn and big hair, Nagdy was frequently seen leading chants and marches, including one from Jefferson Square to the KFC Yum Center, where dozens cast their ballots ahead of the 2020 presidential election.
Antonio T-Made Taylor, an independent reporter and youth mentor, recalled the joy of watching Nagdy cast his first ballot and said his death is a "huge loss" for the community.
"He's irreplaceable," Taylor said. "Travis really believed he could help change systemic racism. He believed he could be a big part of that change.
"What I'm hoping is he will become a symbol of the violence that's going on, and people will finally give it the attention that we need to be giving to this record number of homicides in our city. ...We're just hoping that he will become a symbol of what great lives we are going to lose if we don't wrap a movement around what's going on."
Maxwell Mitchell, a Louisville livestreamer and fellow mainstay at this summer's protests, described Nagdy as a man with "a strong sense of strength, a sense of willingness to spend and give everything he had toward this" during a live video early Monday morning from Jefferson Square Park.
"I can only assume that that energy is going to waft over all of us like a wildfire," Mitchell said.