‘No mother should have to bury their child’: Family, friends grieve loss of Pittsford man killed in D.C.
Ryan Realbuto is not another statistic. He was a loving, caring man of faith. That’s what Janet Realbuto of Pittsford says she wants the community to know as she grieves the loss of her son.
Family and friends are grieving the loss of 23-year-old Ryan Realbuto from Pittsford, who was shot and killed walking back from a youth church event in Washington, D.C., on Thursday night.
“No mother should have to bury their child. No child, no family should be destroyed like this because of guns,” Janet said.
Janet says investigators told her that Ryan was walking home from a youth gathering at church with two of his friends around 10:30 p.m. on Thursday night when two men in a car approached them, asking them for money. She says investigators say one of the men got out of the car, and when Ryan didn’t produce any money for the man, he was shot and killed.
“All because of one person. that felt he had the right to take a gun and shoot it at my son and take somebody’s life. an innocent life,” she said.
Ryan was a 2019 graduate of Pittsford-Mendon High School and a 2023 graduate of St. Bonaventure University. Pat Mallery, Rotary advisor to Pittsford Interact Clubs, Friday remembered Ryan during his high school years as an active volunteer with a “caring heart and helping hands.”
“He loved community, he loved faith. He had such a strong, strong faith,” Janet said.
Ryan’s former roommate at St. Bonaventure and friend for four and a half years, Evan Joyce, says he was at a sporting event Friday night in Buffalo when he heard what happened to Ryan. He says he is still in shock.
“It shakes you to your core pretty much — even just, how he was as a person, it’s when you look back it, you question, why does this happen to the people that least deserve it?” Joyce said.
But Joyce says even though Ryan is gone, his loving spirit and the footprint that he has left on the lives of so many people will never be forgotten.
“He touched so many people with his generosity and his caringness and his willingness to help others that it’s — he really left a blessing on those he met,” Joyce said.
Ryan was working in D.C. as an active member of the Cap Corps, or Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps, a Catholic volunteer organization in Washington, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. His placement was at a Catholic high school, helping with job coaching.
An alert from the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington says they are on the lookout for two men driving a dark gray Honda Accord. There is also a $25,000 reward for anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Ryan’s aunt started a GoFundMe to cover medical expense for Ryan’s emergency surgery, the cost for taking his body back to Rochester, and funeral expenses. You can donate here.
The GoFundMe page says: “Ryan had a gentle soul and was a kind human being filled with nothing but innocence. Our hearts are completely broken by this devastating loss. All that Ryan was trying to do was help people and his precious life was taken by senseless violence. Ryan was too good and unique a human being to be remembered for the pain left by his absence.”