Community gathers to remember Eric Brantley

Eric Brantley, 43, from Charleston

A man was gunned down Wednesday, April 20, in the Park Circle area and police are still looking for his killers. Today, the friends and family of Eric Brantley, a popular bartender and musician, gathered to say good-bye at a memorial service at Riverfront Park. The whole area was filled with friends, family, people who knew and loved Eric Brantley. They say he was the kind of guy everyone wanted to get to know, and “taught a master class in being cool”.

Brantley’s best friend, Ben Hammock, says, “I can’t replace him, he’s the one that made sense out of everything, if I feel confused or conflicted about the world I would just call him and he would be like, yeah, come over anytime.”

His best friends say he was unwaveringly loyal.

Hammock says, “He’s the kind of guy that you would call up and go, ‘Hey, I’ve got to move a couch’, because other friends would be like, ‘Oh I’ve got to work today’, or you know, and he’ll be like, ‘Yeah, I’ll be right over in 15 minutes, you’re buying the beer’. So he was rock solid.”

So loyal, that he was supposed to be the best man in his friend’s wedding this October.

Hammock says, “Before I proposed to my fiancé, I ran it past him. She’s the only one he ever liked. I dated a bunch of people pretty seriously, but I got the approval from him. So I asked him to be my best man before I even proposed to her.”

They call this murder, that took away a son, brother, and friend, completely senseless.

Hammock says, “We as a community need to reach out to all of our friends, all of our family, our neighbors, take time to get to know people because I think that’s where the missed connection is. From what I can, tell people that would do something like this don’t have enough connections, he seemed to have a lot.”

Today friends were handing out cards with Brantley’s image on the front and a quote from him saying, “Anything worth doin’s worth overdoin'”. And they invited anyone who wanted to continue to swap stories and remember Brantley to come out to Sparrow bar in Park Circle Tuesday night.

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