A Milwaukee man tried to make a difference in his neighborhood. He lost his life less than six months after he moved in. He was killed in an early morning shooting.
The garden site is ready, just a month away from harvest, but the man who lovingly tended the plants is gone. Kurt Pierzchalski, 35, was shot and killed Wednesday morning just outside his home. His girlfriend says he had just bought the house just after their daughter was born hoping he could change around a troubled property.
"It got a bad reputation and once we took it over we thought we could fix that reputation," says Sarah Alvarez, the victim's girlfriend.
Alvarez says Pierzchalski was living in the home while he rehabbed it to get it ready for their family. He had been there five months.
"We had strangers coming by looking for old people who used to live here and we thought we were just knocking them out with kindness, but it just kept growing to theft. Stealing the lawnmower, knocking over the logs, trying to break into the house," says Alvarez.
Alvarez thinks some sort of a disturbance might have drawn Pierzchalski outside at 2 a.m. when police say he was shot and killed. She says a ladder he kept on his truck was found in a neighbor's yard. Alvarez says her focus now is the work he left behind.
'This was amazingly huge for him. I guess we are going to keep praying because it's all we can do," says Alvarez.
Police say they have no one in custody and are still investigating a motive for the crime.