PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The family of a Lancaster man who authorities say was murdered at LOVE Park on Tuesday night is speaking out. Ryan Groff’s brother is sharing his memories of the 29-year-old.
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Police say Groff was attempting to enter a restricted area where construction of the Christmas Village was underway.
Groff got into an altercation with Gregory Thomas Sr., a security guard hired by the organizers of the village.
Police say Thomas went to his car, came back with a duffle bag, removed a gun and shot Groff multiple times, killing him.READ MORE: Family Of Fallen Delaware County Firefighter Has Mortgage Fully Paid Off
Richard Groff says his brother was a jokester who loved to laugh.
“It was the great part about him, it really was,” he said. “I mean, every moment that I got to spend with him before he went to Philly, it was awesome. I tried so hard to keep him from all the troubling things in life, but it just didn’t work out that way.”
The Center City District is adding 20 unarmed, uniformed bike patrols in the area around LOVE Park. They were planned before this incident to make people feel safer as they return to work.
Mayor Jim Kenney says despite this incident and others, Center City is safe.MORE NEWS: Mother Of Ahmir Jones, Teen Killed Protecting Girlfriend During Robbery Near Temple University, Speaks Out
“I think Philly is generally safe,” Kenney said. “There will be lots of people downtown during the holidays. There’s always safety in numbers. This happened at night with a lot less people in the park than normally.”