A prominent Black Lives Matter activist who led the protests in Ferguson, MO. was shot and killed early Tuesday.
Police found the body of 29-year-old Darren Seals in a burned out car near St. Louis.
He was shot to death before the car was torched in a parking lot along the Mississippi River in a northern St. Louis suburb.
Aralyn Jones told KMOV-TV she woke up around 2 a.m. and saw the car fully engulfed in flames after hearing a “big, big boom”.
Police believe the vehicle was set on fire around 1:50 a.m. Tuesday.
Seals was a key leader in the protests over the wrongful police shooting of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson on August 9, 2014.
Seals’ grandmother, Ether Seals, remembered him as a “smart kid”.
“I’m just numb,” she told the NY Daily News.
“I didn’t realize how smart he was until all those things happened in Ferguson where he was living,” she said.
Seals lived just blocks away from where 18-year-old Brown was fatally shot by former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson. Brown had refused Wilson’s orders to get out of the street.
In a 2014 interview Seals said he watched as Brown’s body lay in the street for hours.
“It wasn’t even a protest yet… It was a black boy being shot in the community,” said Seals of his actions that helped inspire the Black Lives Matter activist movement.
“I’m very proud of him,” Ether Seals said.
“I didn’t realize how much he’d been doing until people started calling today. I’m going to miss him so much,” she added.