Vigil honors security guard killed outside York County restaurant

(Photo: Richard Irvin Candlelight Vigil/Facebook event page)

YORK COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — Strangers joined family and close friends of a beloved bouncer Friday night to honor the 42-year-old man killed early Thanksgiving morning.

Deputies say Richard “Bird” Irvin was shot and killed by Coleston Ryan Lewis, a man he was trying to escort away from a tent event at the County Grill on Route 17.

Lewis, 26, is wanted on charges of murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

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The candlelit vigil was held Friday in the parking lot where Irvin lost his life.

“There’s no reason this had to happen,” said Bear, a close friend. “He’s the kind of guy you could be stuck in a ditch at 3 a.m. and he would be there.”


Investigators say Irvin worked as a security guard for a private company the County Grill hired for a Thanksgiving Eve party.

Theo Packer says he trained Irvin on security tactics more than 20 years ago. Packer says Irvin loved his job.

“It’s just the premise of us securing people, helping people, making sure they are okay at all times,” said Packer.

Friends say they are holding each other close and trying their best to find peace in the wake of unexpected sadness.

“Pain will be there for some time, but with time, all things heal,” said Packer. “I just hope he’s in a place that gives him the same peace that we are looking to get right now.”