Crime - Sacto 911

Family of man who comforted others seeks answers in his shooting death

Twenty-six-year-old Steven Felldin was killed in a horrific car accident on Highway 99 Saturday. A stranger, Brian Hunter, center, held his hand and comforted him during his last moments alive. Hunter found Felldin’s family. He wanted to meet them, see pictures of Felldin and deliver his last words, a message of love to his wife. From left, wife Leilani Felldin of Sacramento, sister-in-law Crystal Dixon of Carmichael, sister Brenda Felldin of Albuquerque and mother Marilyn Felldin of Sacramento meet Hunter for the first time at the Felldins’ North Highlands home May 31, 2007.
Twenty-six-year-old Steven Felldin was killed in a horrific car accident on Highway 99 Saturday. A stranger, Brian Hunter, center, held his hand and comforted him during his last moments alive. Hunter found Felldin’s family. He wanted to meet them, see pictures of Felldin and deliver his last words, a message of love to his wife. From left, wife Leilani Felldin of Sacramento, sister-in-law Crystal Dixon of Carmichael, sister Brenda Felldin of Albuquerque and mother Marilyn Felldin of Sacramento meet Hunter for the first time at the Felldins’ North Highlands home May 31, 2007. Sacramento Bee file

In 2007, Brian Hunter held the hand of a dying man after a crash on Highway 99; then he sought out the man’s family to provide them solace regarding their loved one’s final moments.

Now, Hunter’s family and friends hope someone will come forward to give them the same sense of closure.

Hunter, 50, was found near UC Davis Medical Center on Christmas night, suffering from a gunshot wound. He died Jan. 8, and Sacramento police are investigating his death as a homicide.

“He was a people person,” Kellie Hunter said of her twin brother, noting that he was always ready to help people. “If he saw an older man mowing his lawn, he would stop and mow it for him, even if he didn’t know him.”

Brian Hunter was one of six children and grew up in Sacramento, attending Kennedy High School. He spent most of his adult life working in construction, Kellie Hunter said. Married and divorced, he was the father of an adult daughter.

On May 26, 2007, Brian Hunter was a passenger in a friend’s car when they came upon the scene of a crash that he described as “horrific” in a story in The Sacramento Bee. According to the account in The Bee, a car driven by 26-year-old Steven Felldin swerved across four lanes of traffic on Highway 99, just south of the westbound Highway 50 connector. The car went under the rear axle of a big-rig’s trailer. The big rig moved to the shoulder, dragging Felldin’s Honda Prelude with it.

Brian Hunter and his friend stopped to help, and as Hunter approached the Prelude, he saw Felldin’s outstretched hand protruding from the wreckage. He grabbed it, noticed the wedding band and told Felldin, whose face he couldn’t see, to hold on. Hunter estimated that he sat with Felldin for about 10 minutes, stepping away when a paramedic took Felldin’s hand as others put an IV in the man’s arm. Felldin died shortly afterward at UC Davis Medical Center.

The next week, Hunter went to Felldin’s home to meet with his family. He told them that Felldin had been brave, speaking of his love rather than his fear.

Kellie Hunter said the experience was very emotional for her brother, but something he felt he had to do. She said he kept in touch with Felldin’s family for some time.

“They thought he was wonderful,” she said. “It was like he was a gift to them.”

The hours before Brian Hunter was found shot are a mystery to his family and friends, who last saw him on Christmas Eve. He lived in south Sacramento, and they have no idea why he would have been in the Oak Park area. They speculate that he might have been shot elsewhere and dropped off near the medical center.

Sacramento police reported that officers responded to the area of Sherman and Miller ways at 10:07 p.m. Dec. 25 regarding a man who had been shot. Officers found the man, later identified as Brian Hunter, who had suffered a gunshot wound. The Sacramento Fire Department took Hunter to the hospital, where he remained in critical condition until his death.

Kellie Hunter said the keys to her brother’s motorcycle were in his pocket when he was found, but his motorcycle, a 2000 Suzuki TL 1000RY, has not been located.

The Police Department urges anyone with information pertaining to the investigation to call the dispatch center at 916-264-5471, or Crime Alert at 916-443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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