Police have ruled a Brooklyn man’s death a homicide after discovering stab wounds to his neck and chest when firefighters responded to his house to put out a blaze.
Antonio Litman, 55, was a well-known philanthropist in the close-knit Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn. Police are investigating the murder and FDNY fire marshals are still looking into what caused the suspicious Monday blaze, according to NBC New York.
The city medical examiner will rule on Litman’s cause of death.
Litman was known as the “Mayor of Adelphi Street” for his generosity and how well-known he was in the community. He founded Virginia’s House of Hope, a charity that has collected and distributed food, clothes, school supplies and educational toys to more than 10,000 families since it was founded in 2006.
Litman owned his Fort Green home for almost 30 years. His friend, Russell Bullock, told NBC New York that Litman really cared about making the world a better place for everyone. “Giving, the most giving person,” Bullock said. “This ain’t right.”
He was well-loved and neighbors were sad to learn the news.
“Antonio Litman is the kindest man you’d ever want to meet, always doing something for someone else,” one neighbor told NBC 4. Another added that Litman was the “kindest man you’d ever want to meet,” and was always helping others.
Litman had found success as a shipping executive and would give scholarships to underprivileged children interested in maritime careers.
On his Virginia’s House of Hope web site, Litman said he was taught as a youngster to care about other people and to help out wherever and whenever he could.
“I grew up on a farm in South Carolina, and was raised by my family to give to those in our community who were less fortunate. We shared what we grew on our farm with anyone in need. This experience stayed with me even after leaving South Carolina for New York City,” Litman says in the About section.
“I have a passion for helping the under-privileged and the under-served. This passion led me to spend many weekends personally cooking meals, making deliveries and collecting donations for those in need,” he adds.