Gay Activist Pulled Off Life Support After He Was Found Beaten, "Left for Dead" in San Francisco's Castro District

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A man who police said was beaten and left for dead in San Francisco's Castro District was taken off of life support Wednesday afternoon. (Published Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014)

    A man who police said was beaten and left for dead in San Francisco's Castro District was taken off of life support Wednesday afternoon.

    Police are now searching for the person responsible for killing Bryan Higgins, who was discovered by passers-by around 7 a.m. Sunday on the corner of Church and Duboce streets.

    "He was an incredibly heart-centered human being," friend Justime said. "The fact that somebody would hurt him just seems insane."

    Higgins, 31, also went by the name Feather Lyn. He was a member of the Radical Faeries, a movement of gay men searching for a spiritual dimension to their sexuality.

    Police said they originally did not know what happened to him, or even who he was, until a photo released to the public helped identify Higgins. Officers also said they have surveillance video that shows Higgins was beaten.

    "We do not know what the motive is at this point or if this was a hate-crime motivated type incident," San Francisco Police Officer Albie Esparza said.

    Police are not releasing the surveillance video. The video shows a suspect in the attack, described as a white man in his 20s or 30s, and wearing a grey-hooded sweatshirt.

    The attack happened in an area known for transients, according to local property manager Michael Smithwick.

    Friends gathered at Duboce Park on Wednesday afternoon for a prayer circle as Higgins' family removed him from life support at the hospital.

    "He had a huge impact on the entire LGBTQ community here in San Francisco and the Bay Area, but especially within the radical faeries," Justime said.

    Higgins leaves behind a husband and family. Higgins described himself on his Facebook profile as a "starving artist" who worked at Rosenburg Delicatessen at 276 Noe St., only a few blocks from where he was found.

    Bay City News Service contributed to this report.