Buddy Harrison, a boxing trainer best known for coaching his welterweight son Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, was fatally shot Saturday morning in Southeast Washington, according to D.C. police and a spokesman for an upcoming boxing event.
Harrison, 62, was attacked around 11:40 a.m. in the 2700 block of 30th Street SE, police said. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police identified the shooting victim as Arthur Harrison Jr. But he was widely known as Buddy, and a spokesman for the upcoming boxing event, Beltway Battles, confirmed that Buddy Harrison was the victim.
On Friday, Harrison posted a picture on social media of him and his son, who is scheduled to make his return to the ring at an event in Washington next Saturday.
‘Beltway Battles’ series strives to give boxing in D.C. a fighting chance again
“I laced his gloves at two years old,” Harrison wrote in the post. “I am still lacing his gloves at 28 years old. I thank Jesus for the opportunity to do so.”
The picture now carries hundreds of tributes to Harrison.
Police described the suspects Saturday as three men dressed in black carrying handguns. Homicide detectives said they were also searching for a white Kia Optima sedan with the Ohio license plate of JAU 3816 in connection with the shooting.
MPD seeks a vehicle in reference to a homicide that occurred on Saturday, September 24, 2022, in the 2700 block of 30th Street, Southeast.
Have info? Call (202) 727-9099/text 50411
Release: https://t.co/9sQSEeLQWQ pic.twitter.com/BxZlOjXMu0
Harrison ran the Old School Boxing Gym in Hillcrest Heights, Md. A tribute posted to the gym’s Instagram page described him as “father, servant, coach, mentor, comedian and a role model.”
“Please keep the Harrison family and the Hernandez family in your prayers, and keep the Old School family in your prayers,” the post read. “I think if Buddy were here he would say to make sure you’re at your gym Monday, pray for those lost ones out there who don’t know the Lord, and to love everyone.”
The gym itself was closed Sunday. Out front, a pair of boxing gloves and a bouquet of flowers were tied to a railing.
Anthony Peterson, a boxer scheduled to fight in the Beltway Battles series, said in an Instagram post that he had been training with Harrison the day he was killed.
“Thanks for all the support and love you gave me and my team when we had nowhere to go,” Peterson wrote. “The moments we spent in the gym earlier today I will cherish those moments till the day I die.”
A mailbox in a small apartment building on the block where the shooting took place showed the name of Old School Boxing. Brenda Guiles, who lives in the building, said she had known Harrison since moving there over a decade ago, and described his work gathering clothes for homeless people.
Guiles said she had been sleeping Saturday morning when the shooting woke her up.
“It was too close,” she said. The door to the building had a bullet hole in it.
Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, who is undefeated as a professional after 35 bouts, had been inactive since his last fight in 2020. But he was scheduled to make a comeback at the 4,200-seat Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southeast Washington, as a part of a fight series he has been involved in as a promoter. The spokesman for the event said no decision had been made about whether Hernandez-Harrison would still take part.
The father and son had been estranged for a while but had reconciled in 2019 after another long spell out of the ring for Hernandez-Harrison.
District boxer Dusty Hernandez-Harrison continues on comeback trail despite uncertain future
Buddy Harrison was himself a former boxer and spent time in prison for armed robbery, according to a profile in James Madison University’s Second Chance Project, which tells the stories of formerly incarcerated individuals who have gone on to contribute to their communities. He founded the gym soon after his son was born.
In a video posted to the Beltway Battles Instagram page Sunday, Harrison compares the trajectory of his life to that of his son.
“I look at where he’s at and where I was at,” Harrison says. “At 20 years old I’m sitting in the penitentiary serving a 19-year prison sentence. And now I look at him and I’m like ‘wow, man.’ We always want better for our children. We want our children to do better than we did. Well he outdone me by so much. Here he is, and I’m going on the ride with him.”