‘This is heartbreaking’: Pittsford-Mendon graduate shot and killed in Washington, D.C.

Pittsford man shot and killed in Washington, D.C.

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. Police in Washington, D.C., are investigating the shooting death of a 23-year-old Pittsford man.

Ryan Realbuto, a 2019 Pittsford-Mendon graduate, was shot and killed Thursday at about 10:04 p.m. on South Dakota Avenue NE in Washington, D.C. Police responding to the report of a shooting found him with gunshot injuries; he had been gunned down in an apparent robbery. He was taken to a local hospital, where he died.

Ryan’s mother spoke with News10NBC’s Bret Vetter Friday night. She didn’t want to go on camera, but she said she spoke with investigators in D.C. who told her that Ryan was walking home from a youth gathering at church with two of his friends when he was shot. Investigators told her a car pulled up, the men asked for money, and one person got out of the car, and when no one produced any cash, the person shot Ryan.

Ryan Realbuto was working as an active member of the Cap Corps, or Capuchin Franciscan Volunteer Corps, a Catholic volunteer organization in D.C. That’s where young people live together and do volunteer work in the community for a year, working in education, social services, health care, refugee resettlement and more. His placement was at a Catholic high school, helping with job coaching.

Brother Stephen Cantwell is a house friar for the Cap Corps and says he met Ryan last summer. He remembers him being a self-starter, ready to get to work and help as many people as possible.

“He had a great laugh,” Brother Stephen said. “He had a very good energy. A lot of people when they come in the first time to a new program or something like that, there’s a lot of nervousness. He just seemed to have a joy about himself, pretty much off the bat. He was also very flexible. He was like, ‘yeah, I want to try that. Yeah, I want to do that.’ He was very excited about starting Cap Corps, getting to know new people, starting ministry.”

He added: “He was very passionate to do some sort of service. I don’t necessarily see him go out and try to make a bunch of money. He mostly just did things because he loved them and he was good with people.”

Tom Missel, chief communications officer for St. Bonaventure University, where Ryan graduated last year, gave the following statement: “We were devastated to learn of Ryan’s death. Ryan embodied what it means to be a Bonaventure student, always embracing our values of compassion and integrity. He was deeply involved with University Ministries and served as a peer coach for incoming freshmen for three years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ryan’s family and friends.”

Pat Mallery, Rotary advisor to Pittsford Interact Clubs, also gave a statement: “This is heartbreaking. Ryan Realbuto was a very active member of the Pittsford Mendon Interact Club throughout his four years in high school. He served on the club’s leadership team and logged more hours of service than any of its members during both his sophomore and junior years. Ryan truly did have a caring heart and helping hands. He had a special concern for young people with disabilities and assisted at many Special Olympics events including the State Winter Games in Rochester. In recognition of his service, he was asked to represent his club at the the groundbreaking ceremony for the Golisano Training Center at Nazareth University in June, 2018.”

A police alert says they are on the lookout for two men driving a dark gray Honda Accord.

The Metropolitan Police Department offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible. Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the police at (202) 727-9099.

News10NBC will update this report as more information becomes available.