Beloved boxing coach killed in DC remembered by his fighters

A beloved boxing coach was shot and killed Saturday in Southeast and while D.C. police are looking for the suspects, his fighters and the DMV boxing community are remembering a mentor and a friend.

Arthur “Buddy” Harrison Jr. coached at Old School Boxing in Hillcrest Heights, Maryland. Fighters like Don Hollingsworth, Jr. came by the gym to leave flowers and gloves after hearing he was killed.

“Since [I was] a little kid till now, he’s always been a phone call away,” Hollingsworth told WTOP’s news partners at NBC Washington. “He would hound his fighters.”

Hollingsworth said the 62-year-old coach would check on athletes — even those not participating in an upcoming tournament.

“‘Hey, I haven’t seen you at the gym, everything all right?'” Hollingsworth recalls Harrison asking. “Or he would pop at your house, ‘You OK? What’s going on?’”

Watch video from our news partners at NBC Washington:

Harrison’s gym Old School Boxing posted a statement on Instagram that read, “Buddy Harrison was a father, servant, coach, mentor, comedian and a role model.” 

The gym also said Buddy would want to make sure all fighters were back in the gym on Monday.

Harrison had a troubled past serving a decade in prison for armed robbery before turning to boxing. Hollingsworth said he inspired many younger fighters to stay out of trouble.

“He always tried to keep kids in the gym, and keep them out of trouble,“ said Hollingsworth’s father.

Harrison’s son, professional boxer Dusty Hernandez-Harrison, also posted to Instagram.

He wrote, “He changed countless lives for the better. He was a dad anyone would be proud to have. There wasn’t any situation I couldn’t call him for.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dusty (@dusty30th)

Hernandez-Harrison is scheduled to return to the ring this Saturday in D.C. during the Beltway Battles.

Buddy Harrison’s last post on Instagram was about his son.

He wrote, “I laced his gloves at two years old … I am still lacing his gloves at 28 years old. I thank Jesus for the opportunity to do so.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Buddy Harrison (@buddyharrisondc)

Harrison was found shot just before noon on Saturday, on 30th street in Southeast. He died at the hospital.

D.C. police are seeking information to help them locate a vehicle in relation to a deadly shooting Saturday on the 2700 block of 30th Street in Southeast. (Courtesy MPD)

Police are looking for a white Kia Optima sedan. It was last seen bearing an Ohio license plate of JAU 3816

The police are offering a reward of up to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case.

The police are asking anyone with information to call them at 202-727-9099.

Anonymous tipsters can reach the department’s text tip line by sending a text message to 50411.

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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