A hometown benefit for slain Fishtown man
Michael Hagan, who was murdered in Society Hill this summer, was said to be passionate about revitalizing Fishtown. His family still seeks justice, and hosted a benefit in his hometown to raise funds, and perhaps find answers.
Fishtown’s Michael Hagan was murdered this summer, and his parents, Michael Sr. and Carol, are still waiting for their son’s killer to be brought to justice.
Michael Hagan, 32, who grew up in Pennsauken, N.J., lived on the 1500 block of Earl Street in Fishtown and worked as an information-technology consultant with Grant Thornton L.L.P. in Center City.
Hagan, a graduate of Drexel University, was robbed and murdered by a gunshot wound to the chest on the 400 block of South Fourth Street in Society Hill on July 1.
A few hours before tragedy struck, Hagan was out with friends on the Delaware River waterfront, but had been separated from them when the fatal shooting occurred.
“It was such a random, evil act,” said Michael Sr. “Someone to do that, in that manner, was just a senseless act.”
In an effort to raise money for a scholarship fund in Hagan’s name — and to possibly increase the reward for information leading to an arrest — Hagan’s family and friends held a benefit on Aug. 25 at the Pinsetter Bar & Bowl in Pennsauken.
The event included an open bar, live music, bowling and a free buffet with raffles and prizes for fundraising purposes.
With more than 400 people in attendance, everyone had the opportunity to reflect and share their memories about Hagan. Those who came to celebrate his life donned bright red T-shirts that read “Hagan’s Heroes.”
“Just looking at the turnout here, you can see that he was loved by everybody,” said Carol Hagan. “He was gentle, kind and compassionate, and he just had a love for life.”
It was reported earlier this summer that Hagan had bought the Earl Street house years ago and was renovating it with the help of his father.
“He was really passionate about city planning and revitalizing the Fishtown neighborhood,” said Jesse Hagan, Michael’s brother.
Jason Lacovara, one of the administrators of the fundraiser as well as a friend and co-worker of Hagan’s, agreed that Michael was the kind of person who was well-liked by all.
“Michael was the epitome of someone who lived life to the fullest. He was really easy going and had a real penchant for keeping cool when things got hot.”
An avid outdoorsman, Hagan enjoyed soccer, biking, hiking and snowboarding, yet he was most passionate about travel. Michael had gone to Europe through a school co-op program, had participated in Spain’s running of the bulls and had jumped from cliffs in Wales, according to his uncle, Ed Couture.
About two weeks prior to Hagan’s murder, Couture celebrated his 50th birthday with the family. For some family members, it would be the last time they saw Hagan.
“Everybody was there,” said Couture. “Not knowing what was coming, everybody got to see him, and everybody left on a great note.”
Currently, the reward for the arrest and conviction of Hagan’s murderer is at $40,000. However, the accumulation of the benefit money may bump it up to $50,000, according to Carol Hagan.
The family has plans for a scholarship to be established in remembrance of Hagan at Drexel University, his college alma mater, or Pennsauken High School, his high school alma mater.
After the benefit, Lacovara stated that $8,500 of the money raised would go toward the pending scholarship.
If interested in contributing, visit a local TD Bank in the New Jersey or Philadelphia area. Checks should be made out to the Michael G. Hagan, Jr. Memorial Fund.
Any tips on the murder of Hagan can be called in to the crime commission tipline at 215-546-TIPS.
Reporter Domenick Candelieri can be reached at email@example.com.