Philadelphia’s Grieving Father from 2014 Fire is Shot Dead in Orange

Patrick Sanyeah survived growing up in Liberia during years of instability caused by poverty, politics and the Ebola virus.

He survived a fire that swept through rowhouses along a street in Philadelphia in July 2014, when his two young sons and two other neighborhood children died. Grief stricken, Sanyeah went on to lead demonstrations, demand an apology from the mayor and receive assistance from Liberia’s ambassador to the United States.

Something Sanyeah did not survive: A gunshot wound suffered Friday evening at an Orange commercial center.

A Riverside man is sitting in Orange County Jail today for the shooting death of 34-year-old Sanyeah, whose last known address per the Orange County coroner was Folcroft, Pennsylvania.

The Orange Police Department got a call about gunfire after 6:10 p.m. Friday at the Stadium Promenade on West Katella Avenue. Officers arrived to find Sanyeah suffering from a gunshot wound near Chili’s Grill & Bar.

He was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where he was pronounced dead at 6:45 p.m., according to the coroner.

Police investigators sought a pickup truck seen driving north on Main Street after the shooting. That tip led to the arrest Saturday of Trevor Lee Brockington. The 29-year-old Riverside resident is being held on suspicion of homicide, according to police.

Jail records indicate Brockington gave “caregiver” as his occupation and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

Police have not yet revealed the relationship, if any, between the two men nor a motive for the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to call the Orange Police Department at 714.744.7444.

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