MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A family is mourning a St. Paul man who was hit and killed while enjoying a morning walk Friday.

Brian Reed, 55, was the victim of a hit-and-run crash near Valleyside Drive and Parkland Court.

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Reed’s sister, Jennifer Reynolds, says Reed had schizophrenia and that living with mental illness was a challenge he met with great dignity.

He went for walks every day.

“We spent a lot of money just buying shoes because he wore out his shoes all the time,” Reynolds said.

On Friday, a couple of blocks away from Reed, St. Paul police say a man wanted on multiple felony warrants struggled with officers who were trying to get him in custody.

They say the suspect got away and stole a running car, then crashed, hitting Reed.

Reed died at the scene.

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“They hit and killed one of the most loving and gentle humans,” Reynolds said. “We believe that he’s a hero because he took one for all of us. Who knows who this person could’ve hurt if he didn’t hit my brother Brian?”

Reynolds says Reed loved fishing, swimming and motorcycles.

Without children of his own, Reed took great joy in loving his nieces and nephew.

“Always just wanting to give, give, give,” Reynolds said. “Any bit of attention and love we had back for him, he soared.”

Neighbors too will miss Brian’s presence on his regular walks.

“It’s very sad,” said Mubarak Kadir. “I’m actually motivated by the way he exercised, morning and evening. It’s very sad honestly. He’s someone I see almost daily.”

Reynolds says the best way for people to memorialize Brian is to contact and be aware of the advocacy group, the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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Police are still looking for the person responsible for the crash. If you have any information you are asked to call Crimestoppers.

David Schuman