Memorial for firefighter killed trying to help the wrong person

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - On Friday, the family of Leonard Riggins dedicated a special memorial bench to the man who was shot and killed trying to help a car crash victim. He died doing what he loved, helping others.

It was seven years ago that veteran firefighter Leonard Riggins was on his way home from work when he stopped to help a teenager he thought needed assistance at a scene scene of an accident. He was unaware that the car was stolen and a teen behind the wheel was an armed carjacker. The teen shot and killed Riggins. Police caught up with the suspect and shot and killed him.

Family members say the tragedy is still fresh in their hearts and minds.

"It was just unbelievable because I know the life he lived. How he got shot was unbelievable," said Darnita Riggins.

On Friday, a memorial bench was dedicated in Riggins' honor at North River Park in the city of St. Louis. It was a place Riggins' widow says they spent countless hours.

"It means alot. It's near my home, so in the fall and summertime we can just sit by the lake and just enjoy being close to him. Keeping is memory alive, it means more than anything., said Darnita Riggins. "A lot of people use this area so they will be able to see the bench and remember who he was."

Riggins was a firefighter for 16 years in the city of St. Louis. Friday would have been Riggins' 59th birthday.