The 60-year-old Lansing man, who was killed while shooting on the east aspect, loved the Special Olympics
LANSING – Before he was shot, Larry Fields’ family said he walked home from a relative’s birthday party on Lansing’s east side with a plate of cake scraps in his hands.
The cheerful 60-year-old lived just a few blocks away and his sisters had asked him to let them drive him home. But he refused, said Victoria Wiltrout, one of Fields’ seven sisters.
It was a walk he’d taken hundreds of times so they let go of him, said Wiltrout. He made it up the street and turned a corner. Then they heard five shots.
The surveillance video later showed Fields had just turned onto Climax Street when he was attacked, Wiltrout said. She said she did not know what the shooter’s motive was.
Priscella Trevino, Fields’ niece, said she didn’t understand why someone would brutally murder her uncle.
“He was a 60-year-old man who carried a piece of cake in his handbag when he went home,” said Trevino. “He carried his belt pouch everywhere with his keys dangling. It was his pride, we called it his wallet. I can’t think of a single person … who would want to hurt him.”
They didn’t know then, but they saw the man they believe killed Fields while running away from the scene, Wiltrout said. All they could say was that he was a white man wearing a COVID face mask, she said.
Lansing Police made no arrests in connection with Fields’ death on April 21, said Robert Merritt, director of public information.
Fields heavily involved in Special Olympics
Fields loved attending the Special Olympics, his family said.
Trevino, 34, said she couldn’t remember a time when her uncle didn’t attend the Special Olympics.
“He played basketball, floor hockey, soccer, he loved playing softball and bowling,” said Trevino. “He did everything. Anything they allowed him to put his hand or foot in, he did.”
Trevino remembered Fields saying it was “nice to play sports with people like him who were enjoying it as much as he was,” she said.
Fields loved wrestling, especially world wrestling entertainment, and was so insane that Special Olympics didn’t offer the sport, Trevino said.
He also worshiped NASCAR and worked as a security guard at Michigan International Speedway for several summers so he could watch the races he enjoyed so much, Trevino said.
Jennifer Spencer said Fields was a wonderful person. They met during Spencer’s first softball season for the Special Olympics in 2002 and became good friends. She remembers that he used to joke a lot.
“What I’ll miss most about him is his laugh and make us all laugh,” said Spencer.
Close to his family
Family was everything to Fields, said Trevino.
“He made a point in every life he touched or talked to,” she said. “Everyone who touched paths with him was family to Larry. Larry was everything to his family and family was everything to him.”
Fields’ family are very fond of playing cards, said Wiltrout. Fields would play every game he could get his hands on. When a kid came up to the adults with a card game and wanted to play go fish, Fields was the first to sit down and play, Wiltrout said.
Children loved him, said Wiltrout, because he could interact on their level.
“You give him a barbie and he plays barbie,” said Wiltrout. “It didn’t matter what it was.”
Kyra Hawn, Fields’ niece, lived with Fields. She remembered the mornings when her uncle woke up listening to music and then danced down the stairs before taking his first walk of the day.
“He had no preference, he heard everything. Every genre of music brought him joy,” said Hawn. “There wasn’t a song he didn’t know.”
Felder loved food, said Hawn and Trevino both. His favorite was mashed potatoes with mustard, something he always tried to get others to try. She said he could eat mashed potatoes every day and not get enough of her.
“We thought it was the worst combination, but he loved it,” said Hawn.
“Everyone knew Larry”
Fields went everywhere, something that made him stand out in the community, his family said. He often walked seven or eight miles a day
“Everyone knew Larry because he went everywhere,” said Wiltrout. “He didn’t meet a stranger … When he walked down the street, he said hello to everyone.”
He loved talking to anyone – even strangers, said Trevino. He was happy and cheerful and enjoyed all aspects of his life, she said.
Fields walked every Wednesday and Friday to donate plasma. He knew it was helping people, so he wanted to do his part, Trevino said.
Fields’ family is raising money for his funeral. Any additional money goes to the local Area 8 Special Olympics. Donations can be made to Fields’ family at $ LarryMemorial in the Cash app or @larrysmemorial in Venmo.
Wiltroutsaid they don’t have a GoFundMe page.
Contact reporter Kara Berg at 517-377-1113 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @ karaberg95.