“He died helping others just as he had lived his whole life,” father and friends of Tim Beaty reflect on his life


Tim Beaty with his son Jacob. (Provided photo by Jessica Beaty)

By Kitt Fresa, Features Editor

Father of Tim Beaty said two years after his sons death, he has begun to feel closure and necessary justice served by the jury’s verdict which found Travis Tyler guilty on March 27.

“I feel that necessary justice was served by the jury verdict of guilty. After two years I have begun to feel a little closure. However, there are no feelings of victory or even a hint of elation,” Tim’s father, Don Beaty said. “All I see is, due to a senseless act of gun violence, my loving son is gone.”

According to a press release from the Jackson County State’s Attorney, Travis Tyler was found guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and aggravated discharge of a firearm.


“Due to this senseless act, a man will spend most of his adult life in prison causing suffering within his family and added financial burden on all of society,” Don Beaty said. “There are no winners, only profound loss.”

Tim Beaty died on March 27, 2016, when he was hit by a stray bullet after a house party for the Phi Beta Sigma graduate fraternity erupted in gunfire.

A stampede pushed the party outside after a man identified as Nehemiah Greenlee was shot. Three of the five SIU student-athletes who last saw Tim Beaty alive said at the party they estimated at least 15 to 20 more shots were fired. 

As gunmen opened fire, two student-athletes frozen in fear were caught near the crossfire, the article said.

Beaty pulled the students into his home to protect them.

“He’s the one who actually pushed us into the house,” One of the students who chose to stay anonymous said of Beaty in a previous Daily Egyptian article. “The whole time he just kept tell us ‘stay down, stay down, stay down,’ and then all the sudden, we didn’t hear anything anymore.” 

She said when the nearly two dozen gunshots stopped popping, the two women checked on Beaty who had collapsed to the floor and was breathing but unresponsive. 


An ambulance was called for Beaty but he was pronounced dead at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale at 4:20 a.m. Sunday March 27. 

“He died helping others just as he had lived his whole life,” Don Beaty said.

One of Tim’s friends, Amy Graziano said she thought everybody was satisfied with the verdict.

“I don’t think anyone is celebrating or gloating in any way, it doesn’t change the fact that a terribly senseless, sad and horrifying thing happened to our friend,” Graziano said. “It’s not going to bring him back.”

Graziano met Beaty in the summer of 1999 at The Cellar, in Carbondale.

“He knew everyone and was super friendly and would go around,” Graziano said. “Whether he knew you or not really and would sort of include you in the conversation.” 

Another friend of Tim Dayna Hartley said she met him through taking pictures for the band. The Bourbon Knights.

“There were so many guys in the band, there was just two of us girls and a lot of times I feel like they didn’t really hear girl voices,” Hartley said. “I would say something I thought was funny and if I looked around usually Tim was the only one paying attention to me.”

Christina Deleonardis said she met Tim and became friends with him after they met in Carbondale’s music scene.

“Everyone gravitated towards him because he was so funny and so friendly,” Deleonardis said. “He would make fun of everyone and himself.” 

Graziano said when Tim died many people said it was Tim’s openness that made them feel welcome, whether they were new to Carbondale or just to Tim’s group of friends.

“They said ‘Tim was the only person who made me feel welcome when I first started hanging out with this group of people’ or ‘I came to a show feeling a little bit weird because I just moved here and I didn’t know anyone and then Tim came up and handed me a beer, introduced himself and it was like I was apart of something,’” Graziano said.

She said Tim had friends that were 18 and friends that were in their 70’s and that was the kind of person Tim was.

“Every single person who knew him has a huge hole in their lives, because he was the type of person you couldn’t not notice him being gone,” Graziano said.

Features Editor Kitt Fresa can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @kittfresa.

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