Homeless man honors murdered pharmacist

Stephanie Harris reports on Beach Pharmacy mural

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Randy Battaglia’s paint brush glided like a sailboat across the ocean he’s painting on the side of Beach Pharmacy. The circumstances that put him there, however, are more reflective of the crashing waves.

Battaglia met David Kilgore about a year ago. He was a homeless man looking for work and the kind pharmacist, and owner of  Beach Pharmacy, reached out with an offer that touched Battaglia’s heart and soul.

“Look at the goosebumps,” he said, pointing to his arm. “They’re forming right now.”

Battaglia created a mural of palm trees. Kilgore paid him much more than promised, and the two made a deal that Battaglia would paint a new scene when he returned from visiting family out west.

Kilgore was murdered during a holdup the day before Battaglia’s return.

“I met him a total of seven times, and he touched my heart so much in that time that I just felt compelled to do something for him,” Battaglia told WAVY.com.

He began painting as a gift, to repay Kilgore’s kindness. But with no home or income, he couldn’t afford the paint. So Kilgore’s wife, he said, offered to pay. Later he told us another man paid the $200 dollars for her.

He bought supplies and a bicycle, which he rides from his tent in the woods every morning to the pharmacy. He’s been working for two weeks, and he’s nearly done.

As people pass by and admire the work, Battaglia hopes they see not only the beauty of the scene, but of the man who inspired it.

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