Friends of stabbing victim Ronnie Goodman, 20, crowded around a colorful altar in his honor at 24th and Capp street late Friday afternoon. They passed a bundle of burning sage around and remembered a vibrant young street artist who always seemed wise beyond his years.
“He was just a good-hearted dude,” said one friend to universal agreement. “If he was here, he would make you laugh a bunch of times.”
“He was a ladykiller,” another chimed in. “He loved the ladies.”
The son of a San Francisco artist and marathon runner by the same name, Goodman was already making a name for himself in the graffiti community. Mourners, who requested anonymity, said people around San Francisco and the Bay know and recognize his work as “Mire.” One mourner spray-painted the moniker at the spot on 24th and Capp Streets where Goodman was attacked to immortalize him.
Goodman was attacked by two men in their 20s a little before midnight on Tuesday. According to police, the men assaulted and stabbed him with an unknown weapon. He later died of his wounds at SF General Hospital.
He had attended Horace Mann Middle School and John O’Connel High School, and at the time of his death was a student at the Community College of San Francisco.
“He was trying to find his own voice as an artist,” said Goodman’s father. “That really stood out with me. He was just being Ronnie, being creative, doing his thing. He was trying to find his own meaning and his own purpose at a young age.”
Goodman’s friends said it was surprising for him to have been the victim of violent crime, since he had never had any gang affiliation or even associated with gang members.
“It’s not even like he had to make an effort to avoid it, that just wasn’t him,” a friend said.
“He avoided [violence] for so many years and it had to come and bite him in the ass,” lamented another.
What his friends remembered most was his positive attitude and perpetual smile. At the mention of his grin, several of them laughed, fondly remembering a missing tooth that gave Goodman a uniquely crooked smile.
“He was young, but he always hung out with the older cats,” said Eric Cortezer, echoing other friends’ sentiments that Goodman had always been mature for his age.
“We kicked it a lot on the pier when he was 14, I was 18, we used to kick back and enjoy the sights,” another friend said. “If you had a bad day he would find a reason to uplift you.”
Friends called him a “staple” of the graffiti community of San Francisco and even the world.
“He’ll definitely be missed,” his friends agreed.
His father added that he had been in and out of prison most of Goodman’s life and asked that we speak with his sister, who could not be reached for comment. “I’m taking this pretty tough here,” he said.