Friends and relatives hold a candlelight vigil at 18th and P streets Monday for Josiah Humphreys, 28, who was fatally beaten there early Sunday. Among the mourners were classmates from Jesuit High's class of 2003.

Memorial marks where Sacramento man was fatally beaten

Published: Tuesday, Mar. 19, 2013 - 7:55 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 - 12:44 pm

Photographs and the fragrance of fresh-cut flowers marked the midtown Sacramento corner where Josiah Humphreys was beaten to death early Sunday.

Police say Humphreys was in a fight after midnight Sunday with three men at 18th and P streets. Officers arrived about 12:45 a.m. to find the man on the ground bleeding from head injuries as bystanders performed CPR.

Humphreys, 28, later died at UC Davis Medical Center, according to a family statement. Police are investigating the fatal beating as a homicide.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office had not identified Humphreys as of late Monday, but the man's family issued a statement of thanks for "the tremendous outpouring of support following the loss of our beloved Josiah."

Late Monday afternoon, friends and neighbors stopped by the humble memorial at 18th and P streets, just doors from Humphreys' apartment, carrying bouquets and their memories of the Jesuit High School graduate.

The men who gathered at the corner were from the school's 2003 graduating class. Nearly 10 years after graduation day, they could scarcely fathom a reunion at a street-corner shrine.

Robert de los Reyes heard the news from a classmate. He stopped at the corner after work, flowers in hand.

"I haven't seen him since high school, but I remember him as one of the nicest guys I ever met at Jesuit," de los Reyes said. He soon met others, including friend and fellow 2003 Jesuit graduate David Grega, still trying to make sense of Humphreys' death.

"He's the last guy who would deserve something like this," Grega said. "If you were feeling crummy, it wouldn't last for long. He was a very good friend. There are a lot of people who care for him. He had a ton of promise and a big heart. He's loved by a lot of people."

Humphreys was living in Sacramento, and his family is in Roseville, according to Robert D. Postar, an attorney and family friend.

He was working in a real estate job, and he was trying to find his direction in life "like many young men of his age," Postar said.

More than 50 friends and neighbors crowded the corner at a candlelight vigil Monday night, offering prayers and words of remembrance.

Meanwhile, police continue to track leads, scan security videos and call on neighbors, bystanders and St. Patrick's Day revelers in hopes they may have seen anything that can help investigators.

"In this instance, we believe there were quite a few people around," said Officer Michele Gigante, a Sacramento police spokeswoman. "If people might have seen something prior to the incident, get in touch with us. Our issue right now is to stay focused on who did this."

Anyone with information is asked to call police at (916) 264-5471 or at Crime Alert, (916) 443-HELP (4357). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040. Bee assistant director of multimedia Sue Morrow contributed to this report.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

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