A homeless local Clinton Hill personality who was once profiled by the NY Times was fatally shot last night. According to cops, 65-year-old Gilbert Kelly was shot around 4:20 a.m. on Grand Street near Attorney Street. He was taken to Brooklyn Hospital with a gunshot wound to the torso, and was declared dead. No arrests have been made and the investigation is ongoing.
According to Brownstoner, Kelly was killed on one of the mid-block stoops where he spent most of his nights for the past three decades. They write:
Many of us paid him a small monthly stipend to keep our stoops clean, make sure our recycling was sorted correctly and let us know if any suspicious characters had been lurking around our homes. Countless nights his crooning of Motown classics while he cleaned up the block was the last thing many of us heard before falling asleep.
Back in 2011, Kelly, who lived in Clinton Hill since 1984, was profiled by the Times. Kelly spent six years in prison on a felony drug conviction in the 1990s, but dedicated himself to cleaning the street when he got out: "This is my high," Kelly said. "When I can look down the street and see no dirt on the whole thing - this is my high." He loved the neighborhood so much, he made up a song about it: "It’s the Grand, the greatest place in this divine land/We’re not just a block or a neighborhood, we’re a family."