Courtney Brousseau, a beloved 22-year-old Twitter employee and co-founder of the advocacy group Gay for Transit, was gunned down near San Francisco’s Dolores Park last week.
Brousseau, who identified as bisexual in his Twitter bio, posted photos from the park at 8:17 p.m. on Friday, minutes before he was reportedly caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting.
“I just ate a delicious burrito in Dolores park and for a brief moment everything felt okay,” Brousseau wrote after picking up takeout amid the city’s COVID-19 lockdown.
Brousseau was critically wounded when two men in their 20s got out of a vehicle and fired 50 to 60 shots near Rosa Parks Lane and Guerrero Street, according to media reports. A 17-year-old was also shot but suffered non-life-threatening injuries. After being critically wounded, Brousseau died at San Francisco General Hospital on Monday night. Police are still investigating the shooting, and no arrests have been made.
Brousseau’s tragic death prompted an outpouring of sadness on social media, including from Twitter’s chief marketing officer, Leslie Berland, and the director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Jeffrey Tumlin. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey reportedly planned to attend a vigil for Brousseau.
A bicyclist who was passionate about safety issues, Brousseau co-founded Gay for Transit, a queer San Francisco collective, on social media. Janice Li, who co-founded the group with Brousseau, said he regularly gave money to charity, according to Oxygen.com.
“[He] donated $50/month to 10 different organizations,” Li said. “This is obviously incredibly shocking and tragic news for someone who was so eager to build community and for someone who has brought so much joy to our lives.”
After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, with a double major in economics and computer Science, Brousseau was hired by Twitter as a product manager in September. He had also worked as an intern for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a civic digital fellow for Code.gov, a consultant for California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and a Microsoft program manager intern.
Friend and Twitter colleague Savannah Badalich told the San Francisco Chronicle that Brousseau worked on notification projects and focused on making technology more accessible and inclusive.
“He just had such fierce empathy for so many communities,” Badalich said. “He wanted to make a difference, and he did.”
According to Oxygen.com, Brousseau loved architecture, Lego, dogs, cycling, cooking, and is remembered for his generosity, kindness, and ability to bring people together.
“Courtney planted seeds in a garden he never got to see,” Brousseau’s friend, 21-year-old Karen Ni, told the website. “His hope for a better tomorrow was contagious. Courtney unapologetically showed up and offered the world joy, love, and his commitment for justice. He had a way of making you feel seen and heard.”