Mohnton man dies weeks after shooting at bar in Reading

READING, Pa. - Desmond Hammond, a local boxing promoter, has died nearly a month-and-a-half after being shot at a tavern where he worked in Reading.

"It's a sad thing when you see these senseless acts of violence taking place in our community," said Marshall Kauffman, Hammond's uncle and owner of King's Gym on Elm Street in Reading. 

Hammond worked as the King's Promotions' director of operations.

"If I could simplify what [Hammond] did for me in just a few words, it would be he had my back," said Kauffman

Kauffman had Hammond's back, too, after Hammond was released from prison. Hammond was convicted of the third-degree murder in the death of a man in Schuylkill County in 2004.  After his release, he went to work for his uncle at King's Promotions.

"The important part is that he was my nephew and I was really just trying to give him that second chance in life, as everybody needs," said Kauffman. 

Hammond had only recently begun working at the Coachlight Tavern at South 19th and Cotton streets and was shot on the night of the tavern's grand opening. Kauffman said he'll be remembered by many as a stand-up guy.

"If I could say anything what he meant to me, more than anything was that he had my back," he said. "Here I felt, the whole time like I had his back, because I was giving him that opportunity to do something, but he really had my back."

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