On September 13, 31-year-old Sam Algarin of Chester County, PA was murdered on his way home from his kids’ jiu-jitsu class, according to a report from NBC Philadelphia. The suspect, 30-year-old Hakeem Smith, allegedly shot the victim in the chest at a Starbucks near Smith’s mother’s house. Smith’s mother had kicked him out of the house earlier that day, and after killing Algarin, he stole his victim’s car.
One of Algarin’s teammates reached out to the Jiu-Jitsu Times, saying that he knew Algarin through Alliance PA’s sister school in Oxford, PA. “Sam was always a positive person on the mats and treated everyone like they were his great friend even if they barely knew him. Sam gave me a lot of help and encouragement when I was a white belt to stick with jiujitsu when I was feeling low about everything,” said the teammate.
A GoFundMe page describes Algarin as being the sole provider for his two young sons, both of whom also train jiu-jitsu. The family’s loved ones are attempting to raise money for the boys’ futures to at least ease the financial strain that comes after the sudden loss of a parent. We encourage our readers to donate to the fundraiser to help the children of a beloved member of our community as they grow up without their father.
Our thoughts go out to Algarin’s friends, family, and teammates.