CHICAGO — A shooting last month outside a funeral home in Grand Crossing left two men seriously wounded, including a beloved member of a local gym community.
Brandon Bradberry, 38, was attending his nephew’s funeral on Aug. 16 when he was shot in the head, neck and face during the drive-by shooting.
“He was an innocent bystander in this situation, and it just goes to show that we have a lot of work to do in the community,” his brother Xavier Bradberry said. “He actually pushed a young lady out of the way when he was hit with the shots. Brandon has always put people above himself.”
With a long road to recovery ahead, his family and his gym community at First Ascent are rallying to show him he’s not alone.
Chicago police were present at the funeral, but the brazen attack left funeralgoers diving for cover.
Brandon’s family said the injuries he sustained have required extensive medical attention, surgeries and ongoing rehab.
Family and friends said he is loving, energetic and warm to everyone he meets.
Now they’re overwhelmed by the way people are showing that love in return.
Brandon’s family has set up a GoFundMe to help with medical expenses, rehab and whatever he may need as he moves forward.
They have already raised $67,000 of the $75,000 goal.
Brandon is the gym manager at First Ascent’s Block 37 location and Dan Bartz, the company’s co-founder said he has been an integral part of the community since it launched in 2018.
They’re planning two fundraisers this month: a bake sale and silent auction from 6-8 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Avondale location and Boulder for Brandon, a climbing competition on Sept. 22 at the Block 37 location.
“When we found out about this it was obviously heartbreaking and shocking, but I think very quickly it turned into just a deep desire to want to do anything we can to support Brandon in his recovery,” Bartz said. “Since day one, he was at the desk welcoming people into the gym, sharing his love of climbing and being that welcoming, warm presence, spreading support and belonging.”
Bartz said Bradberry has been a major part of the Reach program, which helps support youth from underserved communities that may not otherwise have the chance to get into the gym