Calvin “CJ” Brown Jr. was a Fairgrounds neighborhood fixture—”like something out of Sesame Street, this person everybody knew,” said resident Emilie Bahr.
The longtime postman didn’t just deliver mail. He befriended residents on his route, they said, hanging out in their backyards after his delivery shifts and attending their Jazz Fest parties, IPA beer in hand.
“It’s up to the mail person whether they want to connect with their clients, and he did. If he saw you out, he was going to talk to you,” said Dwight Bradshaw.
Brown was in a good mood after wrapping up his route about 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 18. The Bradshaws were his last delivery stop, and he stayed to chat with Dwight and his wife Stefanie about his time living in Southern California.
Brown left shortly before 5 p.m. to drop off the mail at the Central Station postal location. About 20 minutes later, while driving his personal vehicle, he was fatally shot at a gas station in the 3400 block of Franklin Avenue.
Police say Brown and an unidentified suspect entered the gas station together, and as they left, Brown was shot multiple times. Emergency Medical Services took him to a hospital, where he died at age 41.